Thursday, June 11, 2009

Patting Myself On the Back

Re-posted from Between Bites (

Patting Myself On the Back
Words: Jane Chua

Most people are trapped in the traffic of everyday routine. It is good to get out of yourself every now and then.

Being the “family man,” I expend strength and bring order at home while the other 9 hours of my day are enchained to building a career. When you are on the road of life for too long, an occasional stopover wouldn’t hurt.

Traveling is the break I give myself when my body shouts for a pause from the daily grind. The body is a temple, a trinity of the physical, mind and soul. Traveling can be a vacation for physical and mental body at the same time that it can enrich a soul.

Handling channel carriage arrangements, there is a lot of push and pull happening in negotiations. Managing several contracts and being the middleman, my eyes need to catch the fine details. The paperwork pile on my desk towers up while emails with counterparts in Singapore, Hong Kong and other parts of the world never seem to end. It’s good to challenge myself and stretch my limits. I have always had that interest in legalities anyway. But you and I shouldn’t be imprisoned by the corners of our desk or by the comfort of habit and knowing what to do.

Just open yourself up, walk right out and see the world. Take a detour from the monotony and delight yourself in becoming a stranger for at least once in your life.

Wander around, smell the flowers and let the sun kiss your face. Transplant yourself into a somewhere completely different than home and be in for a pleasant surprise. There is a spark of newness in every travel. Peel a part of you that you have not undressed before. Take a plunge into the unknown.

To travel is also to learn and grow. Discover other cultures. Encounter new people. Observe what other society dictates while setting yourself free from the dictates of your own society.

The unfamiliar says hello back to me and I foster an appreciation of both the world at large and the chair waiting in front of the computer back in my office. I like the exploration but I suddenly miss the sense of comfort that I sometimes take for granted.

I usually come home with a renewed outlook in life. This is a reward for myself I will not find in merely shopping.

Since the advent of the A(H1N1) virus, my traveling plans have been kicked to the curb. I need to find new ways to crack the routine spell.

The slog doing the usual everyday activities can drain me at a certain point. Below are some suggestions on how to increase the height of LIVING:

Learn a new hobby, skill or language.

There is always something to learn. Not because we no longer attend required schooling that we discontinue learning too. Don’t let your mind decay into only reading magazines, surfing the net or watching the tube. Pick up a new hobby. One is never too old to start a collection of something. Gardening can be a good hobby and helpful to the environment as well. Owning a DSLR doesn’t mean possessing the skill of capturing invaluable moments at its best so learn about photography. Be taught how to play a guitar. Speak a foreign language by enrolling in short courses.

Laugh at least once a day

Laugh often, live much. Fate has a very good sense of humor. Why shouldn’t we?

In our operations meeting, my 20’s something age is the youngest in a boardroom full of 30s, 40s and 50s managers, heads and VPs. Dealing with many seniority and striving to deliver a stalwart unquestionable performance every time, I noticed that my attitude has become more uptight and serious. I constantly press myself not to err fearing that erring is a step backward. Been successful so far attaining a 3.6 rating (4) for 2 consecutive years but a chunk of me was sacrificed to achieve that. My youthful exuberance.

I’ve taken things much slower now and pulled the stick out of my “trunk” (refer to Black Eye Peas’ My Humps) and ceased to be stiff. A chuckle every now and then doesn’t mean you take your job less seriously. A giggle is a soft reliever from stress. It is after all just another day, another dollar.

Allow yourself to laugh at mistakes. Say during a big client presentation, you kept referring to the competitor’s brand instead of your client’s because it was in fact your ex-boyfriend’s favorite beer that gives him gas. Don’t beat yourself up. Your boss may fire you, but have a good laugh.

It doesn’t have to take a hysterically funny scenario to be able to laugh out loud. It’s good to be silly sometimes.

Exercise while at work

Regular exercise can help one reduce the risk of developing many health-related problems. For example, exercise can combat obesity, improve circulation, and it can help prevent serious conditions, such as heart attack and stroke.
When I can’t find the time to go to the gym, I do simple exercises at my little corner. Sitting on the chair with my back straight, I do leg lifts or bicycle motions, which also help strengthen the mid-section. I can do this while reading emails or cleaning out my inbox.

A little stretching of the shoulders, tricep and back prevents muscle soreness and makes your body limber and flexible. Breathing exercises are also stationary and can reduce tension.

Engage yourself in a conversation with a wise or a well-traveled man.

There is a big yellow light blinking on traveling abroad nowadays. Proceed with caution. Instead of taking a health risk with the flu going around, chatting with a well-traveled man can still broaden your horizons. Hear stories about his travel and let your imagination soar with his treasured memories. Lengthy discussion with a profound man unwraps a reflective understanding of the world or world issues you might not have opened your eyes to.

Make healthy food choices

Eating right can help prevent future diseases and lessen stress levels. A balanced varied diet provides more energy too. Once in a while though, we are faced with strong cravings. Cravings can be pretty bad especially if you are craving for junk food. I like nibbling on chips and licking off the flavorsome crumbs off my fingers particularly when I am frazzled at the office. When I need to brood, I sulk with a pint of my favorite ice cream. Your eating habits also affect your mental condition. Notice how easily irritated you are when you skipped a meal or finished a big bag of deep fried fries.

Sweets and foods that are high in fat or calories should be taken in moderation. A good alternative to satisfy your sweet cravings is yogurt.

The Nestle Fruit Selection Yogurt started my love affair with yogurt. I never thought I’d like yogurt until I tasted NFSY. I can chew on real fruit pieces in every spoonful of the flavorful lush. Yogurt is low in fat, which allows me to indulge more without the excessive calories. It’s also packed with millions of live microorganisms, which is what your body needs for good digestion. I like the fact that it’s bursting with flavor yet healthy at the same time. What could be better?

I stack up NESTLÉ Fruit Selection Yogurt in the office fridge. While it’s good for a quick breakfast or snack, I use it as my luscious pre-filler very much like a salad pre-meal. Now, they have added 3 new delicious and intriguing flavors to the selection: Melon-Nata, Apple Cinnamon and Raspberry Apple. The interesting combinations give an extra dose of taste.

Cast off the inhibitions because it’s all full pleasure in a cup without the guilt! Rev up your energy and take in the luscious delight in every cup.

Nestle Fruit Selection Yogurt launched the
BE GOOD TO YOURSELF campaign. Reading what the campaign is about got me thinking about how I’ve been treating myself. Getting hurled into the every day express makes me miss out on how I take care of “ME”.

My pledge is to quit the chips and junk food altogether and increase my yogurt intake. I also want to take up a new hobby and lessen TV time. I further pledge to avoid poker rooms and see people at the yoga mat instead. Increasing my height of living is a fantastic life waiting to unfold. HELLO to a healthy and dynamic lifestyle!

After filling out the Be Good To Yourself form, I lean back on the chair and smile. Pop a Nestle Yogurt open and pat myself on the back for making the pledge. Have you patted yourself on the back lately for a good deed, a closed deal, or breaking a bad habit? Click here so YOU can make a pledge to start making better choices in your life. Each pledge will also trigger NESTLÉ Fruit Selection Yogurt to render a contribution to the Healthy Weight Fund. Say goodbye to NEEDLESS THINGS and say hello to a BETTER YOU!

We have all heard the old adage “love yourself before you love another.” Being good to yourself is not only buying the pair of designer shoes you have been dying to have. Try living out of the shoebox. Get the best out of life by bringing out the best in you.

Loving yourself is the secret.