One of the hardest things to achieve in life is to live one day at a time while also making sure the big project is moving forward. Most people enjoy the moment at the cost of tomorrow’s happiness. What smart people do is they can identify what gives pleasure to the present self AND contributes to the betterment of the future self as well. I wasn’t a smart girl but I came up with the follow tips through numerous trial-and-error.
1. The unexpected
I can make a whole cabinet of cases where I get caught up by the unexpected. One time my wallet was stained with corrective pen mark and I tried to save it with my nail polish remover and guess what? I messed up my newly done manicure.
There was this other morning when I was rest assured that the beetroot in my lunch box wouldn’t fall out but its juice somehow leaked out and ruined the inner-lining of my handbag.
Don’t you wanna curse when things like these happen?
To dodge the unexpected, I have come up with some tricks and I’d love to share here with you now.
One, always estimate how crowded the subway will be before heading out. Make plans accordingly, like not to wear a certain type of shoes or coats.
Birthday dinners, business luncheons or friends asking for help can really take up my creative hours. That’s why I prefer setting one or two daily missions, so small that it’s impossible not to achieve, to uphold my commitment. (Remember, self confidence is built upon keeping our own promises.)
2. Mindless Entertainment
I am sort of an introvert and I seldom attend to social events but it doesn’t necessarily mean I have more time than others. I don’t spend my time shopping or texting but online forums and video sharing platforms are equally time-consuming.
Starting off my job-free morning with a bowl of fruits and a glass of diluted original westsoy milk, I could have enjoyed my breakfast like a royal lady and let my thoughts subsided. Then I made the worst move — logging onto YouTube, the 24-hour theme park that doesn’t require an entry ticket.
Even though I was watching nothing but educational videos, I could have done better as to go totally no-screen while eating. I know I will feel better if I do so but looking at anything but the food on the plate is a bad habit that takes time to break.
I am glad to have outgrown my childhood when my days were structured by the television programs but I have to admit there are moments when my mind is weak and give in to shows like The Hill. Then I ask myself, you know what’s worse than being a time waster on those reality shows? Watching how they play themselves as time wasters.
We all know what’s the good stuff to read but after a long day of work, those handy classics and bestsellers can be daunting tasks. Most people would rather turn off their mind and find distractions than to contemplate over subjects that truly matter to humanity.
3. Fatigue and sickness
The previous point is about a weak mind and this one is more obvious — our wellbeing. Health is the foundation of everything (admittedly though some writers sacrifice their health for their legacy) so we have to do our best to take care of our body. Getting enough sleep can guarantee us strong immunity. Then, wash our hands often or use hand sanitisers and keep warm in the winter. These alone are enough to keep the doctor away.
4. Noisy environment
(This section is mostly about the Hong Kong city, but I am sure anyone who lives in developed cities can relate to.)
Hong Kong is a very safe city to live in because there are people everywhere, but by the same token, it can be quite suffocating. The amount of people I meet in a day here can easily amount to those I met in Australia the whole trip combined.
The subway is probably the crowded space of all. Apparently the administrative guys feel like assigning a few platform assistants to facilitate passengers getting onboard. But as loudly as they speak, people who elbow in are gonna elbow their way out so those assistants are not doing much other than increasing the underground noise pollution.
Ever since the birth of free tabloids, the pavements in residential and commercial areas (meaning everywhere) has become even more crowded. I was lucky enough to have experienced the city’s morning serenity when I was a school girl. If I had been born ten years later, I wouldn’t have the fortune to emerge in that peaceful period of a day. Now I feel like I am in an army or something walking down the street as I am not allowed to stop walking. Every time when my shoe strap falls out or my purse drops that I have to stop walking and pick it up, I have the worst feeling ever because it’s like being washed by a sea of people around you.
It doesn’t get any better indoor. The second you step into a fashion boutique, those salespersons will tell you what kind of clothes are on sale right now, regardless of what you truly need. Whatever you touches, they will immediately inform you in what other colours that piece of clothing is in stock. Very rarely do they let their potential customers to study their garments and make decisions on their own. Even in a cultural event like the book fair, people push their way through and move around with their bags hitting others unapologetically. Aren’t book lovers supposed to be more patient?
I have moved for almost ten times in the city and in every apartment I hear people upstairs or downstairs practice their music instruments. Mind you, it’s not performance but practice. Isn’t it doomed to be disturbed living in Hong Kong? How can elegance be possibly cultivated and long projects that take concentration to be completed in such a chaos?
Daiso (also known as “the dollar shop”) is a Japanese home supply store when in fact most of the products are made in China.
I did a search on taobao (an online shopping platform mainly used by people living in China), and I was surprised to see that the same products I found in Hong Kong DAISO stores are sold for double prices in the mainland!
And I thought Hong Kong people were paying a third of the price more than the original price in Japan due to exchange rate. Apparently mainlanders are paying even more than us!