I hope that with the following question-and-answer(s), the reader may gain a better understanding of me. Dare I hope that the following may even be useful to the reader.
What has been one project or assignment in which you broke the rules and had fun in the creative process? - Joseph
I once took an undergraduate-course on Composing Music in the Classical Style (for example, in the style of Mozart). For an assignment in that course, I wrote a musical work that appears to be thoroughly twentieth-century, instead of looking eighteenth-century. My course-instructor did not accept my work, but I still had fun. (I’ve realised the importance of surrounding myself with people who value creativity and innovation - which is not everyone, and I certainly don’t really appreciate flattery and/or smooth talk, either).
- Approximately 4th April, 2020
Tell me what is your oops-boo-hoo moment this week, and what you learnt from it. - M.P.
An “oops-boo-hoo” of mine, as you call it? I run a blog where I post photos from my trips to art-galleries in Sg. Art-hunting, if you will. But I got a little lost; something didn’t feel right (about such blogging) anymore. I asked the person known, on LinkedIn, as Alin Sneha Abraham, for her perspective on the matter; I said I wasn’t sure if my blogging was adding value to the world. Alin said something to the effect that it is more important that I enjoy myself; that way, at least one person benefits. So my oops-boo-hoo was to overlook my own enjoyment of the activity in question. I concluded that I liked visiting galleries, but posting photos on social media? Not so much.
- Approximately 4th April, 2020
What other things are you doing to manage your mental health? Share your tips with us! - M.P.
Oh, it's you again, M.P. (Hi again!) I try to have some fun with the ground that is given me. Like, I try to appreciate the ground I have - yes, the ground. Like, it’s so stable. And I can have access to it. Ms. Vaishali, who seems to teach yoga, elaborates the idea, in the following blog-post: https://thestillspace.org/2020/03/22/ode-to-the-ground/
- Approximately 7th April, 2020.
What’s [been] a previous moment of disappointment turned success? - Mark
In my early twenties, I volunteered to facilitate a week-long camping activity, during which I got very little sleep. I would evaluate my own performance, during that camp, as poor - I just wasn’t getting enough sleep.
Fast forward about a decade, now I value my sleeping hours. I avoid taking on overnight jobs, because I know I won’t be at my best. I’ve learnt to manage myself a little, I guess - and that counts as a success to me!
- Approximately 3rd May, 2020
What’s the best gift you have ever received from a leader? - C.C.
Difficult to say which has been the best for me, since there are a few good ones I can identify (which I am thankful for, of course). I would highlight, as my response to your post, opportunities that a teacher gave me, when I was 10 years old (approximately). I had interest in making flashy animation with the software Macromedia Flash (which is now apparently obsolete). I guess that teacher liked what I was doing with Flash, because the next thing I knew, I was given the opportunity to produce animation, for showcase at a major school event (the anniversary of my Primary School, or something like that). I didn’t end up feeling proud of the animation that I would eventually make, but even till today, I am still pleased and flattered that I got “talent-spotted”, in a way.
- Approximately 28th May, 2020
What new skills have you learnt later in life (and/or not related to your work line)? - Andy
Comedy (as well as a sense of humour, if I may say so myself). My research includes watching episodes of Seinfeld, and reading manga. I hope their comedic effects are something I can absorb.
- Approximately 2nd June, 2020
What advice has stuck with you for a long time? - Steven
I get reminders to avoid becoming arrogant, when I read the Bible. One passage reads: "if anyone thinks himself wise in this age, let him become a fool, so that he may gain wisdom." So, I'm quite happy to think of myself as a fool, if only so that I can seek wisdom.
- Approximately 3rd April, 2021
What do you do to stay on track with your goals? - Jane
To stay on track with my goals, I learnt to say No to a lot of things, so that I can say Yes to the things I care about. As Derek Sivers put it : "We’re all busy. We’ve all taken on too much. Saying yes to less is the way out."
- 20th May 2021
How are you coping with the tightening Covid-restrictions in Singapore? - Ratna
Every day I write down three things I'm grateful for. And on days when I feel down, I look back at all the pages of gratitude I've written. It helps me feel better. (Right now I'm grateful for shelter from the rain).
- 21st May 2021
What does creativity mean to you? - Hannah
The artist Sophie Kao once said to me, "Even if you can make your artwork look like a famous artist's artwork, what is the point of that? Art is about opening a door inside yourself, seeing things in a new way."
- 26th May 2021
What book has had the most significant impact on your life? - Hannah
The Bible is important to me. (I read it every day.) I've found the Biblical book of Proverbs helpful, and so are the Psalms and the (Biblical) book of Ecclesiastes. As for more secular stuff, I've felt encouraged by Robert Frost's poem, titled "The road not taken". I've also benefited from a book titled "Not Knowing: The Art of Turning Uncertainty Into Opportunity", by Diana Renner and Steven D'Souza.
- 27th May 2021
What could you do to feel relaxed, calm and free, under 2 minutes? I head outdoors and gaze at the clouds! - Jeffro
Yoga is helpful for me. I may not be the best at it, but I feel better after certain poses. You could try looking up "parasympathetic yoga" on the Internet for some ideas.
- 14th June 2021