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I enjoy meeting new people and forming new friendship.  Most of the time, we meet up in cafes where the casual setting makes it easier to get to know one another.  Recently, I met up with a new friend at a tea lounge.  We ordered some tea and a small fruit platter to share.

While chatting and enjoying our conversation, I picked up a piece of cantaloupe.  Unfortunately, the cantaloupe escaped my grasp and landed on the table.  Without as much as a second thought, I picked it up and ate it (5 seconds rule, anybody?)  Boy, was that a mistake!  Not only was it not the most sanitary thing to do, my behavior probably thoroughly disgusted my friend.

The problem is, I developed the bad habit of eating off the table from the time I dine at home, alone, on my clean dining table!  While the behavior is relatively harmless in private (other than perhaps eating germier food than if they hadn’t fallen on the table), the repeated behavior conditioned my brain into an automatic response when I am out in the public with friends.  The result?  A poor impression is permanently burned into the minds of those I meet.  This can be especially bad when it takes place during the first meet-up!  Talk about a down-right terrible first impression!

What is the lesson here?  Private behavior can rear its ugly head in public, and if one is not careful, it can ruin a good thing!  It’s always best to behave well when nobody is looking as it is when everybody is looking!

I was chatting with my sister this morning about a pesky relative of ours.  This relative is a control freak and likes to involve herself in other people’s business.  Most of the time, her effort is futile because they are not only not welcomed, they are an impediment to other’s lives.

As some of you know, I decided to switch career after I realized my originally chosen path was not the right one for me.  I was not happy; in fact, I was downright miserable a lot of times.  However, the path I originally chose is quite glamorous from the outside.  As such, this relative of ours likes to talk up the career as one of the best around!  Not only that, in her mind, getting out of the career must mean only one thing — that one just couldn’t “hack” it!  Nothing could be further from the truth!

For most of my childhood, teenage, and young adult life, I was on cruise control.  Many things came easy for me, and as such, I never gave much thought to how exactly I wanted to live my life or found out what was the purpose of my life.  That is, until I ran into some not-so-pleasant experience and was forced to evaluate what it is that I really want!

For a period of time, dark cloud loomed over me as I dug deep into my soul to find myself and my voice.  When I finally emerged from those dark days, I realized I was in the wrong field (among other things).  The revelation itself was one thing; the decision to do something about it was quite a different beast.  It took me quite a bit more time to build up the courage to stop what I was doing and start pursuing what I really wanted to do.

Why was it so hard?  It was hard because I had to start from scratch, and starting from scratch meant I was behind the career “schedule”.  I also faced ridicules from people such as my pesky relative who implied that I left my field because I could not “hack” it.  Ultimately, none of that mattered or should even compute into the equation of my life, but they bothered me nonetheless — I am human, after all!  Luckily, I had strong enough of a conviction in my decision (and lots of supportive friends and family) to persist and eventually triumph over the obstacles and the naysayers.

I think in life, all worthwhile endeavors take courage and persistance to win.  They say nothing worthwhile is ever easy, and it’s very true.  Easy may be the preference for the short term, but it’s definitely not the long term solution.  If you want to do something you love, find the courage in you to do it!  And when the going gets tough, surround yourself with supportive friends and/or family! Having gone through the experience myself, I assure you the rewards is worth a million times the work it takes to get there!

December 2009
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