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Weekly Gratitude Journal 10

Perhaps due to the influence of this module, I have already written a post on my blog about being grateful. Although a little part of me is trying to be lazy and wanted to reuse the post, I decided to write something else. After all, I am sure that there are many things in life that we can be grateful about.

This week I am grateful because I have received some opportunities to prove myself, no doubt nothing is confirmed at the moment. Due to my history, I think I am being scrutinised for my future ability to perform. However, I would like to think that I will be able to perform better exactly because of the past choices that I have made. I didn’t walk a path that is within the norm. I made my call according to the situation at that time, with the best of my knowledge, and I trust in that decision even when it is not a well-worn path. Sometimes, these decisions work well for me now, sometimes it works well for me in the future, simply because a bad choice makes you learn from it and prevent a bigger mistake down the line. You can call this consoling yourself, but I truly believe in making mistakes young when the cost is lower as compared to making it later. Life is meant to be lived and experienced, not going through the tested and proven way just to get it over and done with. I am an Outward Bound Instructor, and the word Outward Bound itself signifies human’s nobility in committing itself to the open seas for its rewards, despite its risk. It signifies that we are constantly seeking improvement and we dare to expose ourselves to some risk in order to lead a better life. After all, if we are satisfied with what we have, the human race would not have improved since ancient times.

In fact, I think that there are so many people who dare not walk out of the path of norm simply because our society are not open minded enough. I do not think that being overly liberal is the way to go and I think it is for good reason for us to take a careful and prudent approach whenever an important decision has to be made – be it policy or choosing someone for a certain role. As a small country, we do not have a margin for error as large as the bigger countries. Any mistake can be critical to our survival. Hence, the Singapore approach has always been the prudent, careful and highly considered way, which has allowed us to survive until now. Yet, because of this, we have also missed out on some opportunities. Sometimes, we take a bit of time to recognise when it is time to take that leap of faith. Rules to me points towards an intended purpose. We should follow it in most cases, but we need to know when it is time to break it in order to achieve the purpose that the rules are set for. It is a dangerous path, because there will be people who make silly judgement calls or to abuse such culture, hence a balance has to be struck. But we should not confuse ourselves to think that rules are always all-encompassing, and we can retire our brains.

Instead of blaming the world for not giving me opportunity, I should be doing what I can to prove myself in every opportunity. And if you choose to look close enough, you realised that there are plentiful of opportunities around. Somehow, seeing theses opportunities makes you grateful but you cannot see it unless you learn how to be grateful.

I remember a quote saying that if we cannot do great things then start by doing small things in a great way. The world doesn’t change overnight. But what we can do is to shape it a little by a little over time. And hence I choose to publicise my thoughts online, to influence and to be influenced. And I hope that more people can do the same.