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Am I a good coach? * I listen then ask questions * My questioning techniques have the intent of understanding and supporting, rather than...

 

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(The Daily Avocado)The Daily Avocado is an interactive website magazine containing articles that I've written for various publications as we...

 

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Sisi Positif PHKoleh Dion Juanda Gibran Pemutusan Hubungan Kerja (PHK) saat ini sepertinya menjadi sesuatu yang menakutkan bagi sebagian o...

 

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Lost in Bhutan (For the rest of the article read my blog: 'Lost in Bhutan' on http://desianwar.blogspot.com/)From time to time I get the ur...

COACHING

A Kodak Moment

It’s sad to hear Kodak filing for bankruptcy.  And I’m sure a lot of people give a little sigh of regret with a tinge of nostalgia at hearing the news.  Though in a way, it’s well overdue.  I mean, who uses cameras with films these days?  Actually, my last Kodak camera was well over a decade ago.  It was one of the first digital cameras in the market and with 3 megapixels to boot.  And you could do cool stuff like photo-sharing and print the photos up yourself.  But then it didn’t last very long before other slimmer, fancier looking digital cameras with bigger megapixels flooded the market and suddenly my Kodak camera seemed rather old-fashioned.  From then on, with the emergence of everything digital and with built-in cameras and photo-sharing capability, like the mobile phones, well, we really haven’t heard anything from Kodak in the last ten years.

But still, the name is synonymous with camera, having been around for 131 years and was the first to introduce an apparatus that even a child could use, making photography a simple recreation that anyone could indulge in.  As a matter of fact, I have an aunt who still refers to a camera as a ‘Kodak’, which goes to show how ubiquitous the brand was in the global household.  And of course, we still talk about a ‘Kodak moment’ when talking about an event that is particularly memorable, because for a long time, the easiest way to record that event and put it to memory is with a Kodak film or a Kodak Instamatic camera.

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Might Is Not Right

When I was little, every time I got into a verbal argument with my older sister there would be a point when I came up with a cutting remark that I knew she wouldn’t be able to retort to, as in those days my mouth was pretty sharp despite my diminutive size.  And at this point too, my sister, who was physically far bigger than me, would glare at me while struggling for words, and finding none that was adequate, resorted to using the ultimate weapon of the inarticulate to fight me.  She would pinch my arm so hard that tears welled up in my eyes.  I refused to cry however, and bore the pain patiently until she let me go.  She had the satisfaction of hurting me.  But both of us knew who won the argument.  I equated her anger and violence as a clear sign of defeat.

Since then I’ve been a great believer that you cannot win an argument except with a better line of argument, you cannot change someone’s opinion unless you provide a more persuasive one, and you cannot force someone to share your belief unless you successfully come up with a more convincing and rational explanation.  Violence, censorship and criminalisation of what is ultimately an abstract debate is a clear sign of some sort of defeat, whether intellectual, moral or just plain rational argument.

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It's in the Neurons

I often wonder what makes some people espouse strong beliefs more than others or what it is that makes an individual, a group or a society attached to a particular belief system.  More importantly, why, when faced with a difference of opinion or a different belief system, the reaction is very strong, often emotional and even physical as well as violent. 

For example, some people are actually demanding that the atheist civil servant from West Sumatra should be beheaded for committing blasphemy.  Which is basically saying that they honestly believe that in a society that demands you to conform to an unquestioning belief in a supernatural being, atheism is a real and physical threat to the unity of the society and therefore must be eradicated.

As a matter of fact, we ourselves, often feel a negative reaction when we encounter opinions and views that greatly differ to ours on practically any topic, from religion, politics, to favourite celebrities and football teams;  whether at the dinner table that turns into a shouting match, or in the boardroom during meetings that degenerate into clashing arguments of stubbornly held views.   

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Photo by Desi Anwar

Who Am I?

In a recent discussion someone asked why should we bother over things such as trying to know ourselves better?  In turn he was asked, what is more important in life than attaining self-knowledge, knowing oneself?  I could not agree more.  

Yes, there are many things in life to devote oneself to, such as getting an education, having a career and earning a decent salary, raising a family and hopefully being a person of some use to society.  As a matter of fact, I’m sure for a lot of people simply trying to get by in a highly competitive and challenging world, is already a difficult enough task they have to face in their lives without having to ask a question whose answer is as elusive as the question itself.
But the question must be asked.  ‘Who am I’ and ‘Why am I in this world?’  Questions whose answers would lead one to the quest of finding one self and achieving self-knowledge.  Without pausing to ask these fundamental questions about our existence, life could only be shallow, lived on the superficial level, like taking part in a school play and yet not knowing what role you have to play.  

Worse.  You don’t even realise you’re in a play, thinking that the role is your true self.  That the play on the stage is your life.  You have no idea who you really are, let alone who the author of the drama is.  Stay on the stage long enough, sooner or later you will feel that there is something incomplete about your character, something odd and aimless, something missing.  

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Photo by Desi Anwar

Letting Go

One of the hardest things in life that we must do is to say goodbye and to let go, whether to people, situation or even things.  When we’re happy, the happiness is often tinged with sadness because we know that the moment will not last, and already we’re thinking of how much we will regret losing that feeling.

When I was a child I had a particularly sensitive nature when it came to the idea of loss, something that may be older folk would be more familiar with as they are a lot more prone to pangs of nostalgia than younger people.  For instance, I remember vividly when I was around seven or eight years old, my mother reprinted some old photos that I had not seen before to stick in a photo album.  Some had photos of me as a toddler.

Instead of being amused by the baby pictures, I was filled with an enormous sense of sadness so much so I actually shed tears copiously.  The reason was, I could not recollect any of the moments captured in the photos and I was filled with regret there was a part of my life that I lost forever, even as I did not have any memory of it.  Once upon a time, I was a little child, and now that child was gone.  I was already a big girl.

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Life Tips

Bad English Don't major in English. If you love studying English, there's nothing wrong with that. Just be aware that English majors generally don't earn very much. Six of the top ten list of majors with the highest salaries are engineering majors, with chemical engineering topping the list.
Get Nutty Now Nuts are good for you. If you’re counting calories, research shows that nuts aren't linked to weight gain.
What to do in an Earthquake If you're indoors: Stay indoors when tremors start. Get under a sturdy table, desk or bed, or stand in a doorway or an inside corner next to an interior wall: Keep away from windows, mirrors, glass, bookcases, light fittings, tall cabinets and fireplaces. If you're outdoors: Get into an open area; avoid buildings, walls, power lines and trees: If you're in a car, stop - but stay inside until the tremors stop. Avoid bridges and power lines.



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