2023 Week 05 Update

And just like that, we are in the month of love, February. I always associate February being a month filled with love and laughter and so hope that this month is like that for all of us.

I finally reached my home state of Maharashtra this month, after walking nearly 6,000 km since the beginning of 2021. I am currently on the outskirts of Maharastra’s third-largest city and its winter capital, Nagpur. To reach my home in Mumbai, I still need to walk another 700 km.

I exceeded my expectations this month and read 12 books, a mixture of both fiction and non-fiction. I don’t think I have read this much in a month in recent years, so this was a very good start for the year for me, in reading terms. Now comes the part, which is to sustain this reading pace.

This week’s quote comes from Ralph Waldo Emerson, an American essayist, lecturer, philosopher, abolitionist, and poet who led the transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century. He was seen as a champion of individualism and a prescient critic of the countervailing pressures of society, and his ideology was disseminated through dozens of published essays and more than 1,500 public lectures across the United States. Waldo as he was known as tells us that our past and future circumstances are not important as our character; no matter what setbacks we’ve faced or challenges that lie ahead, we can succeed if we have inner strength. Food for thought, right?

The children are busy with school and winding down to the end of the last semester of their polytechnic education. And GG is also busy with university applications and I hope she gets admitted into the course of her choice at the university she wants to attend. BB will now be liable for National Service and we are still waiting for his enlistment letter which should come anytime soon. So after the end of his diploma, he will start focusing on his fitness, so that he does not have too much of a problem during his Basic Military Training.

That’s all for this week. I hope February is just as lovely as the promise it shows.

2023 Week 04 Update

Today’s quote is a lovely one from author and speaker, Mark Black and one which I endorse 100%. Being able to relax and take time away from work, and anything that could be construed by work, depending on one’s point in life, is actually proven to make one more productive overall whilst also increasing the mood and improving mental health. This makes purposeful relaxation extremely important, and a valuable part of the daily routine. So, as I am doing this weekend, I would like all of my readers to purposefully relax this weekend, so you are fully charged for the new work week.

This week, GG applied for her first university application and she will soon apply to the other universities she is interested in. Please send her positive vibes and wishes so that she gets a place in her first choice of university and course. Both she and BB will soon finish their course by the end of next month and then they are free for a while, at least until BB enlists and GG, hopefully, enters university.

This was a very short work week because of the long Chinese New Year weekend, so there’s nothing that happened that I can talk about. That’s all for this week, take care and stay safe people!

2023 Week 03 Update

Today is the first day of the Year of the Rabbit. Here’s wishing all my Chinese readers a very happy Lunar New Year. Gong Xi Fa Cai, Xīn nián kuài lè

We have a long weekend here in Singapore because of the Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations, so it is a time to rest and chill and just be with one another. I would have loved to go on a short trip, but because of the children’s school and the fact that GG has exams coming up, this remained a dream for now.

Today’s quote is from Walt Disney, the man who seeded the child in every one of us. Disney says that all our dreams can come true if we dare to pursue them. What this means is that nothing is impossible, and all our dreams can come true as long as we don’t give up. It’s the courage to pursue them even after the failure which is important the most. All our dreams can be turned into a reality, but, It has to be authentic and realistic. So be real, listen to your inner voice, believe in yourself, and have the courage to continue even after a setback. What you do when you fail defines everything.

China is likely to see 36,000 Covid deaths a day during the Lunar New Year holidays, making it one of the most deadly periods of the pandemic, according to an updated analysis. The country will likely experience one longer, more severe Covid wave, rather than repeat peaks and valleys, as the traditional festival marked by millions of people returning home to reunite with their families fuels high levels of virus transmission. Hopefully, this will not be a return to what happened in 2020 which was also fueled by the Lunar New Year travel.

I have been obsessed with reading this week and read four books this week. I have been reading every chance I got during the day and some days, late into the night trying to finish a chapter or a book. I hope this continues for a long time this year and I read more and more.

Stay safe people and here’s hoping the year of the rabbit is happy and prosperous for you and your loved ones.

2023 Week 02 Update

To all my readers from the Tamil diaspora, here’s wishing you a very happy Pongal! May this festival of harvest bring happiness and prosperity to you and your loved ones.

A couple of days back, I read a news report which was quite worrying. According to the World Economic Forum, the cost-of-living crisis will be the biggest global risk over the next two years. Global inflation remains at sky-high levels after energy and food costs rocketed last year following the invasion of agricultural powerhouse Ukraine by major oil and gas producer Russia. Supply constraints caused by the Covid-19 pandemic have also contributed to decades-high consumer prices. Conflict and geo-economic tensions have triggered a series of deeply interconnected global risks, including energy and food supply crunches, and strong increases in the cost of living and debt servicing. Such crises risk undermining efforts to tackle longer-term risks, notably those related to climate change, biodiversity and investment in human capital. This report described the cost of living crisis as the biggest short-term risk by 2025, followed by natural disasters, extreme weather events and geo-economic confrontation. Hopefully, there is an upturn very soon for the world.

Today’s quote is from the Buddha. He tells us that thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared. What this means is that when we share our happiness with others, our happiness will not reduce when we share our happiness, it shimmers around us and even multiplies when it is shared. So spread happiness all around you today, you will see how beautifully impacts your life.

That’s all this week. Stay safe and be happy!

2023 Week 01 Update

The first week of 2023 has just ended and how was it for you? I have been pretty consistent with what I wanted to do and hopefully, this will continue throughout the whole year.

To start the new year, here are two pieces of news I thought were good to share. South Korean oil and gas firm Hyundai Oilbank recently announced that it was handing out 1,000% of base salaries as bonuses to its employees for the year 2022. While the company stopped short of revealing exactly how much in bonuses it was lavishing on its staff this time around, reports have stated that the company ended up giving its workers bonuses of around KRW 121 million or USD 94,800 per person on average for the year 2021. This was indicated as being 600% of the base salary level, or about six years’ worth of pay. The company saw a 226% increase in profits in the third quarter of 2022 alone, with the total profits coming up to around KRW 2.8 trillion or USD 2.9 billion within the same period. These enormous payouts were attributed to the surge in global oil prices, with the protracted Russian invasion of Ukraine creating scarcity, which also coincided with the demand for heat during the winter months towards the end of the year. The OPEC led by Saudi Arabia and Russia cut down oil production to only two million barrels a day which also jacked up the global price of oil owing to even more scarcity.

Over in Taiwan, Taiwanese shipping giant Evergreen Marine has rewarded employees with year-end bonuses worth between 10 and 52 months of salary each, after posting bumper 2022 profits. Most of the company’s junior workers with a monthly salary of NTD 40,000 or USD 1,308 took home a bonus worth NT$2 million each last weekend, which is equivalent to more than four years’ pay. The 2022 payout is even higher than the 40 months bonus that the company paid in 2021. Thanks to the rebound of global container shipping lines following pandemic lockdowns, as well as soaring shipping prices, the company reported a net profit of NTD 304.35 billion for the first three quarters of 2022.

Imagine being an employee of either of the two companies!

Today’s quote is from American author and motivational speaker, Tony Robbins. He reminds us that we need to set goals to make the goals real and visible so that it gives us something to reach toward. When goals are set, they move from theoretical to practical. It’s not enough to just consider what you want to accomplish. You must take the time to be specific in setting your goals with time frames for achieving them.

That’s all from my side this week. Here’s hoping the rest of 2023 is as fantastic as the first week.