disengage to engage

I came up with the title ‘disengage to engage’ as I wanted to talk about how people don’t realise that they can’t engage someone if that someone doesn’t want to, or not in the mood to be engaged. Depends on each individual, people might need to engage people with different methods.

For me, if I’m not in the mood for anything, please just don’t bother. Give me some time to finish whatever I’m doing and I’ll give you my all undivided attention.

What usually didn’t work was:

  • The person thought I wasn’t OK so he/she started asking questions like How are you doing? Are you alright? Do you want to talk about anything? Can I help you with anything? Hmmm yea, help me with giving me a break.
  • The person starts to go around the busy, so he/she will start asking questions around the topic he/she wants to get to. Eg (This is really just an example): Can you pass me the pepper? Later. Hmmm, how about the salt? And the sugar? *facepalm

Funnily, when I did a quick google on disengage / engage, most of the results on the first page of Google search is about dog training 😐😐😐


to experience special moments, you have to participate

This morning I turned up at my yoga class to see all of my yoga instructors whose classes I had taken before also showed up. That never happened before.

Turns out, this is a group of yoga instructors who used to take the same class or training somewhere, and the became really good friends. They took turns to give yoga classes at the university that I am attending but left one after one due to various reasons. They never made any references to each other, which explains my surprise to see them gather up and look so happy!

Those who left surprisingly still remember me. First, Sofia said Hi to me in the toilet. Then, Nathan gave me a big hug. And, Helen nearly screamed and gave me a hug. Suddenly, all my favourite yoga people happen at the same time, in the same place.

We all went to the class together. Taking a yoga class with professional yogis was kind of bizarre. At the same time, it felt so quite special. Perhaps, special as in one second, I become this little student, the Jenny that all the instructors know.

As usual, my mind didn’t stay still during shavasana and it played out an alternative scenario.

What if I never talked to anyone? What if I never cracked a conversation and just did my thing, came to the class and left, just like that? I might have saved so much time chit chatting and socialising (technically). In fact, I would have saved time and emotional energy this morning. I would be saving time not having to write about this thing right now!

However, I would not know that Sophia is German, Helen used to do marketing and is now doing yoga full time. I would not know that Helen’s son is Michael and she’s getting Michael and her husband to do yoga together. I would not know that Nathan is a fan of All Blacks, or he used to live and work in Australia!

And I would not have this warm and fuzzy feeling from being welcome this morning. It was a short moment, but indeed a very happy and special one.

I attribute this to the fact that people had participated in making social connections. At any point of time, any one of us could have decided they didn’t have to know who the other people are. But we all made an effort to talk, discover, remember, and catch up. All of that could have led to nothing, or it could spark a special reunion.

And I reckon, sometimes, little efforts can give you an experience that is so unique and unexpected that you would not otherwise have it if you don’t play a part.

Picture: It is another special moment when I was waiting at a bus stop and in front of me are two buildings. One corporate-looking filled with office lights that represent a fast pace, modern, energetic, competitive, stressful working environment. And the other one, a museum with no light, heritage, ageing, sleeping peacefully. It gives me an image of a young guy watching over his sleeping grandpa. To me, it’s iconically a generational representation of a buzzing* city.

(* compared to other cities in the country)

open & honest

We had a mini discussion at work today about openness and honesty – do both words mean the same?

I think that they are not. Openness and Honesty bear different meanings and implications. Openness implies the accessibility to information, while Honesty refers to reflecting what’s known to be true.

An example: I can be honest and tell you how terrible the day has been, but if I choose not to tell you because of certain reasons (not worth your time and attention, or by telling you it will only make me feel more terrible), it doesn’t mean that I’m not honest.

Some of my colleagues think they mean the same thing. “That’s why you say an open and honest conversation.” Why do you need to use both words in a sentence if they refer to the same thing? Have you heard someone saying “this book is nice, great, and fantastic”? “It both means transparency.” Hmm, you are using a new word to neutralise the meanings of these two words. “Those are only semantics right?” Nahhh darling, this is about your personal take, what Openness and Honesty mean to you and me. It’s about having a shared and common understanding of our vocabulary so our expectations are aligned.

When you say you expect honesty from you, you would think that it includes openness, and vice versa. So I have to tell you every single time how terrible my day goes.

When I say I expect honesty from you, I expect you to call A an A. When I say I expect openness from you, I expect you to tell me how many As you’ve got.

See the difference?

of learning


About a million years ago, before I ever knew advertising exists, I stumbled upon an article that analysed Coke and Pepsi as brands and their brand positions and how Pepsi strategically went up against Coke and (kind of) succeeded.

I couldn’t remember the details of the analysis but I’ve got the big picture. And I thought: shit this is sooo smart that it’s actually mind-blowing.

Fast forward to a million years later, I have been working in advertising for 7 years. In my master advertising class earlier this week, the lecturer had a question about Coke and Pepsi. I answered it based on what I read ages ago. And it was the right answer.

Mike asked: so will you be able to answer that question based on the things you’ve learned and known by now? Chance is yes I probably can, but I will need 5 minutes to figure that out or perhaps never if I’m not smart enough.

When I first wrote my literature review last year, I was overwhelmed with the amount of data, research and reports returned by Google and the library portal based on some simple keywords. I thought: this is easier than I thought, I can always find an answer by searching for it.

Thing is, how do we know what we need to know or learn until the moment we actually need that knowledge for a purpose? For example, I would never have known that I would someday use the understanding about Coke and Pepsi from the analysis I read years ago until for some reasons it happened to me this week and I need that piece of knowledge at that very moment.

Secondly, how did all the great grand philosophers and scientists learn without the luxury of available materials and studies from the Internet like what we’ve got today?

This has brought me to realise that we can’t actually depend on the fact that we can always search for something. That is the sort of lazy thinking that Google and many technologies being the convenient tools that help us access information and knowledge quickly, easily, widely and cost-effectively spoil us. They don’t motivate us to pro-actively learn. We think there are always answers to everything somewhere on the Internet and we assume we will get an answer when we need to. So then we only ask questions when we need to. And we don’t ask questions out of curiosity anymore.

Having said that, I think it’s absolutely critical to be learning independently, proactively and consistently. To me, all knowledge is knowledge, doesn’t matter whether it’s general knowledge or specialised knowledge. It will either be utilised some day, or it will make people better knowledgeable ones. So if there are opportunities to learn about anything, just absolutely anything, I will make an effort to go and learn it (when I can).


about beaches

Upon reaching a beautiful beach,

A Kiwi: Wow… look at that. Is there anywhere in Asia that’s more beautiful than this?

An Asian: Now the sun has gone up, it is starting to look a lot like Thailand.


Src: Pinterest



This orchid looked pretty much about to die when I left home for the holiday. And I was gone for 4 weeks.

Coming back, it appeared to be full blooming.

I should really write to my Sup tomorrow.




Choose your box. Or don’t.

So beautiful that I just can think about this all day long.

Src: http://www.autostraddle.com/saturday-morning-cartoons-baopu-12-305941/



I’ve been super grumpy recently. I think I know why.

meaningless adjectives

Once in a while, there will be press releases announcing the moving of this person and that one in a certain industry. Often times, there will be a few sentences about how excited the newbie or the company is. Typically, they go like this:

The company:
We are excited to have this person because of her wonderful ability to ex and why and zee.

The person who’s just got the job:
I’m excited to be joining an amazing company, working with awesome teams.

Yup, I’ve got the excitement, been there done that, who’s not excited with a new job. But seriously, you have hardly started for a month, sometimes a week, how do you know about the wonderfulness, the amazingness, and the awesomeness?

Then a year later, the person leaves the place. And he/she talks about amazingness and awesomeness in a new company. And it gets me to wonder: so what has happened with the amazingness and awesomeness in the previous place? Have you found out they are not what you thought or they just stop being and deserving such fanciful adjectives once you came?

In an impossibly honest world, I imagine it would go like this:

The company:
We understand he’s a dick based on our reliable source. But for some reasons, he’s got the all the credits and all the awards. It helps, so we don’t mind. 

The person who’s just got the job:
Heard mixed reviews about that company. But I need a job so whatever that floats my boat.

You know, just thinking.


To cover my backside, I need to put ‘No offense intended’ so ‘No offense intended’.



In a week, I’m gonna be done with the last assignment of this semester.

I should be panicking right now as I haven’t really started on it yet but I’m actually feeling excited thinking about the next trip with the best homies. Yippie!