Weekly Photo Challenge: It IS Easy Being Green!

A good 4 + months since the last photo challenge and so, its time for another one!

Although I’m late by a week, this challenge really speaks out to me as 2017 has been pretty much a ‘GREEN’ year for me!

Starting from Li Chun 2017 where the lucky colour for my zodiac is green, and I wore green to bank in my money. In terms of money inflow for this year, so far so far. Customs aside, the more important is to keep an abundance mindset.

And of course, when I finally decided to use some of my shopping vouchers to get a yoga towel (i.e. got a Manduka eQua Yoga Mat Towel eventually) – it was co-incidentally green as well. Together with my Yoga Inc umbrella (free gift from package purchase) – that was also green!

So we have 2 different shades of green here 😛

Still on Yoga Inc. Always love practicing at Gulliemard Branch where it feels more rustic, calm and serene. Especially when I go for Sunday morning YIN class.

Spotted this cute little swing (also in green) when I left the studio after class to go towards the same gate to get to Old Airport Road Food Centre.

Finally non-yoga related. A bowl of healthy and hearty bibimbap with lots of greens from Paik’s Bibim (a franchise outlet of Baek Jong Won’s Food Empire from South Korea).

The original challenge entry here: https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/it-is-easy-being-green/

Skipping Over February

Finally have the time, space and energy to sit down to do a blog entry proper!

Now where did February go? Definitely the 1st time in a long while that I didn’t blog (or rather didn’t manage to blog anything) in 1 entire month and the time just went by like that ……

January ended with the CNY festive season. After which, it is straight back to work and daily life.

And yes, one significant thing that happened right before CNY was the breakdown/’death’ of my lenovo laptop. As documented on this blog, after the initial replacement issues (when 1st bought), and an earlier breakdown of the hard disk just back in September, the Lenovo decided to hang by itself when in office one fine Monday afternoon. To cut the story short, after calling the technical support line, dropping everything down to head to the service centre at McPherson for 2nd diagnosis, and another opinion from a repair shop at Jurong Point – the conclusion was a failure of motherboard. The replacement would have cost $500+ …… and thus it would be a more feasible solution to just get a new laptop instead – which is needed as I had work to finish right before CNY beckons.

And so, I bought a new Acer Swift 3 that is gold in colour for a ‘golden’ new beginning.

The laptop has been working great for the past 2 months that I have been using it – and this is my 1st blog on this laptop 😛

In a figurative way, the Lenovo represents frustration and pain through the 2 years and 4 months that I have used it. And I will be better served with a fresh start with a newer and better machine going forward. Sounds like how my life has been going for the past 1 odd years 🙂

February is also another month where I experienced numerous body wiggles post-yoga (right achilles tendon pull, tight hips, on and off wrist strains on my right). Also came down with sore throat / flu for a good part of the month which recovered, then came back again after Hot Yoga 101 (believe I caught a chill as the room as stuffier than usual which even the instructor felt so as well), which is reduced to chest cough on and off still as the virus has yet to go away 100% – which sucks!

Partly as a result of some of the ‘muscle imbalances’ that I was experiencing post-yoga, took the plunge to try Yin Yoga as I have read on some of the benefit of Yin Yoga include increased circulation, fascial release and greater joint mobility (through holding poses for 3 to 5 min long) ….. which was something I needed to ‘repair’ my body and feel good again.

After my very 1st Yin class (on Sunday morning) where the final pose before savasana was a reclining head to toe stretch (with a bolster placed right across the tight) – my hamstrings loosened immensely.  After which, I attended my semi-regular Tuesday evening Hot Yoga 101 class. Even after some pretty intense work in the class, my thighs/quads no longer have the intense post work achne (the technical term for it will be DOMS – delayed onset muscle soreness) that will take me the entire evening and the good part of the following day to recover from. I have always had tight hamstrings and quads which I finally realised was a result of inadequate post workout stretching from my running and spinning days. The increased flexibility from holding stretches 3 to 5 mins is real indeed. Not to mention feeling much lighter and more relaxed for the rest of the day, and enjoying improved sleep.

I have decided to incorporate Yin to be part of my regular yoga ‘programming’ as I target to do it once every 2 to 3 weeks. Plus waking up early and going for the early 1015 Hrs Sunday morning class at Gulliemard is a great way to re-adjust my bio-clock and sleep patterns – as well as to re-connect with my body and wind down the weekend.

Before March comes to an end, I also hope to try another new type of class (most likely Hot 26) -which is part of my personal goal/resolution to try 1 new class every month.

Friday The 13th

Welcoming the weekend on a slightly sombre note (and unable to sleep) after a pretty shitty day (Thursday) as the following unfolded:

Missed my morning alarm again – set it for 0815 hrs, snoozed it until I finally woke up at 0855 hrs. (At this point, not so s**t yet)

By the time I had my quickie breakfast (black coffee + bread with peanut butter), packed, changed and left my house, it was already 0935 hrs. Product kickoff that I signed up for starts at 0930 hrs!!!! Already running late but still thought I could reach at 1000 hrs if I managed to get a taxi/Grabcar. So skipped my usual morning mediation and left the house.

Decided that it wasn’t worth it to spend $20 on a ra-ra kind of waste time launch/kickoff event …… and so MRT-ed in to Tanjong Pagar. Reached Tanjong Pagar around 1020-ish. Decided to pop by Duxton to pick up a premium cheque (+ forms) so that I need not walk out from office again post lunch. On my way back, popped by lululemon to look at yoga mats again (still agnonizing over lululemon vs Manuka Prolite).

Got to office around 11, and started to get ready client paperwork (that was prepared yesterday) to submit.

1st major disturbance came about when U**le A called and started complaining about why the insurer was so slow to settle his claims (mis-matched expectation as said person interprets 14 working days as 14 calendar days despite the fact that there were 2 public holidays in lieu, and not forgetting weekends). Rather than listening to my instruction proper on getting the ‘correct full settlement’ receipt that insurer insists they need (but somehow they did not have the courtesy to inform the client), said person started rambling/complaining about forking out $$ for follow up consultations/tests/scans for post cancer follow-up treatment. This is despite me already laying down the marker that these post follow-up costs are NOT CLAIMABLE if there was no stated major outpatient procedure/related hospitalisation involved – as per Integrated Shield Plan T&C. I’m neither a doctor nor a claims officer who can make decision on this matter, but as far as I’m concerned, this T&C has been highlighted to him loud and clear (and in the presence of spouse and children too). In the end I ended off the conversation abruptly by saying I’m not a doctor who can advise on what treatment he needs, and I need to clear some documents before my 1215 lunch appointment. Hate it when people try their luck to manipulate situations to their advantage (Between D thinks said person just needs help and I shouldn’t be so sensitive).

Then around 12, client called and asked me to hold on to the paperwork and not submit it because he/she is concerned about market volatility now in view of some Trump remarks again (and this is after insisting that analysts have said US Market will rally in Q1). If you do not know how to market time, do not be a smart-aleck. And if you cannot take risk, just don’t invest. Don’t be so selfish, fickle-minded and inconsiderate to others – especially after spending 2 hours of my life on Wed doing unproductive paperwork for your fund switching (not 100% client’s fault, 50% is because my company makes the processes more tedious and cumbersome).

And finally, the next bomb! Over lunch with S, S asked me about clients who talk crudely (esp. over whatsapp) and I mentioned this fella who has a tendency to behave like this over whatsapp. And true enough after lunch, said person claimed that why insurer did not mail out the documents direct (Note: The documents will reach me 1st, I will scan and e-file before mailing/delivering them to client). And gave me an angry emoticon when I said I have yet to receive it on my end. What’s up with this crude passive-aggressive behaviour? 1st I never said the documents will be mailed to you direct, I just said will inform and advice on payment details on my end once I receive the documents. I haven’t receive anything – what’s there to advice. However its true that insurer has already send them out since last Friday 6 Jan 2016, and I should have received them already. Of course my company insists they did not receive (although the mailroom has a record of losing mails etc.)  – and because of the carry-over effect from client, I really took it out on the mailroom peeps!

Despite starting my day early, it turned up to be more infuriating rather than productive.And having very tight calves and tense shoulders – which sort of undid the tension release after Wed evening’s Hatha Yoga. And so I ended up ranting on my blog!

Realised a pattern – when I skipped my morning meditation on Tuesday, the day turned out quite horrid. Took Wed out of office, and did an early evening yoga class instead that lifted up my mood tremendously. Today I decided to prioritize early start over essential meditation and once again the day turned out pretty shitty. So immediate action is to resume my usual morning meditation and get my yoga practice back on track on Friday the 13th, clear my mind and start serious work on my major Q2 goals! And before all of that, some quality sleep (was very bothered by the heatwave this entire week)!!

Difficult Clients

Having some problem dealing with a difficult client …… and this problem resurfaced again mid-week, after a good 5 months of complete silence (on the client’s part).

Not picking up calls, not confirming/keeping to appointments is another. What is even WORSE than the already mentioned 2 points is giving excuses along the lines of ‘sorry I didn’t reply due to many changes in my job’ …… and even WORSE feigning ignorance on what you DID NOT DO!

How not to get infuriated with such problematic clients!!

Anyway am doing some ‘prepping’ online to get some tips on how to deal with this errant persone before I return the call (as per said person’s request, it can only be weekend …. what a prima donna!).

Good luck to me!!

This one is particularly good

http://www.sportsfinancial.org/how-to-deal-with-difficult-clients-3-keys-to-success-for-financial-advisers/

Key points summarised from the above article

1. Tell the truth.Tell the client, in a business-like and professional way, with a little humor blended in, that they are a pain in your sits-bones (to be kind). You may think this is offensive, but it’s not. The reason it’s not is because difficult people know they are difficult. It will come as no surprise to your client that you find them difficult; I guarantee that you’re not the only one they’re difficult with. They’re probably difficult at home with their family members too, and with co-workers. The client may be testing you to see how far you’ll let them go. Don’t let them get away with difficult behavior. Call them on it, from the start, by telling the truth.

2. Tell them you want to do a good job for them, but you’ll not be pushed around.Insist that they be respectful or let them know they can go elsewhere. After all, you don’t need difficulty in your life, you’ve already got enough challenges as a financial adviser, you don’t need to add pain-in-the-sits-bones clients to the list.

3. Be commanding & well documented.Talk louder than you have to with difficult clients. Be clear cut and to the point in all your communications with them. Put everything you say to them in writing and send them a note, letter or email that outlines the nature of every discussion you have with them, including steps that each party will take. Document, document, document. Difficult clients try to make trouble, but don’t get very far when you’ve got everything well documented. (Plus, compliance will love you for it, because difficult clients are just lawsuits waiting to happen.)

Remember, you don’t need difficult clients. You’re better off without them. If they continue to be difficult, fire them.

One last note, perhaps some people need to learn how to be a human being first before expecting their advisers to give the ‘best advice’ according to their inflated egos and standards.

10 Days Into September ….

Pretty busy month in August with work keeping me occupied enough …… while my personal time management leaves much to be desired.

Essentially, I have been gradually straying from continually building/re-building good habits and maintaining a steady morning/work/exercise routine. To the extent that I have yet to get the yoga membership done up to start proper after talking about it from end July till now *gasp*

So I guess its a testament to how FAST time really files as we are 10 days into September! Pretty eventful start to September as of all things, laptop went dead on me over the weekend …… which means another breakdown for the Lenovo for the 2nd time in less than 2 years since it was bought, sigh. And so this means having to drop almost everything and get the laptop fixed ASAP – as I use it for work/business. Very bad timing as I had intended to get some strategic/planning work and paperwork (business placement) done.

Despite, all the bad, after going down to the Lenovo Service Centre @ Paya Lebar on Monday afternoon …… and explaining my situation to the staff there (not before some argument about the warranty registration which was due to some mix up in records on Lenovo’s end), I managed to get the repairs expedited. They replaced the hard disk (as the original hard disk failed) ASAP and I managed to collect it by Tuesday afternoon. At the same time, I was also able to pop by client’s office in the East to get a renewal cheque in. So it did not turn out to be so bad after all *grateful*

Got it back, struggled with paperwork and came to a realisation that P**S’s business placement processes need to be greatly improved as everything is too manual and requirements too rigid. If not, its time to walk! Spoke a bit with C on Friday evening in the office …… and came to a realization about a problematic client that I have been dealing with. (Note to self: Will tackle this issue after much procrastinating/sitting on it asap).

Finally have the long weekend to properly catch up on some strategic/planning work, and properly review/track my work/business …… as well as to finish up the 1st round of online assessment (mandatory T&C requirement). And also to rest/relax my mind, do some enjoyable stuff before another work week beckons!

Recurring Dreams

What do you make of dreaming the same dream TWICE in a row in the space of 1 month?

Here’s a write-up on recurring dreams from Pyschology Today – https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/dream-factory/201411/whats-behind-your-recurring-dreams

One key phrase that got my attention:

In general, recurring dreams indicate the presence of an unresolved and persistent conflict in an individual’s life, and the theme or Central Image of the dream provides a stage for this conflict to play out. The cessation of a recurrent dream may indicate that the conflict has been successfully resolved. Thus, being aware of and working with recurring dreams in your personal life or in therapy is a useful tool for resolving conflicts and improving well-being.

Well this happened to me twice within a month (mid may & early june) …… as both times, I had dreamed about losing a bag/baggage/luggage.

The 1st time – the dream was about losing my bag in a room …… and ended up going round and round to locate it (despite the fact that the bag was somewhere in the room itself).

The 2nd time – the dream was a clearer one.

As always, it is to the dream dictionary to decipher the meaning of the dream(s) as there is always a deeper/more significant meaning to it (to represent some part/unresolved issues in our lives). Also, this is the very 1st time I have dream of the same thing twice in a row – which does mean something very signifcant right?

From dreamscloud.com:

Bag – May represent the burdens and/or responsibilities you are carrying around; May also suggest a way to carry and find what you need in your dream at any given moment

Baggage – May symbolize (1) the problems and burdens you carry with you; (2) going on a trip; (3) extra or gained weight; (4) old hurts and emotions that you have not yet dealt with

There are also other themes, such as searching and wandering – with the general being about feeling lost/direction-less, searching for something missing in life (e.g. love, fulfillment), and even seeking a solution to a problem.

The dreamscloud explanation on the symbolism for lost luggage in my 2nd dream just confirms the pertinent issue that I have to deal with going forward, as below

A dream about losing your luggage may symbolize a loss of personal identity or belonging.

You may be feeling lost. You may be ready for change and prepared to redefine or “find yourself”.

Getting out of slumps, be it calling, work, personal, and to a certain extent even blogging. This has basically clouded me for a good part of June. As with getting out of slumps, June does feel like a long month indeed! Definitely, in a not-so-good way, the major issue from earlier in the year (i.e. branch issues) has not really gone away as the various negative feelings (hurt, abandonment, betrayal) re-surfaced again, as hard as I try to put them aside and move on.

Out of all these, I guess the most important take-away here at the end of everything is knowing the real issue at the core is the most important small step forward, before the next small step to resolve the problem comes ……

Can’t believe this entry took a good part of the afternoon to finish up. Well, this is one small step to reflect and get the issue out of my mind, as well as get out of my ‘blogging slump’ and start July on a fresh slate again!

Decluttering

Today is officially start of a new month & new quarter (Q2) …… and also April Fool’s Day! No other better way to commenrate April Fool’s by writing a blog entry 😛

To sum up 1st quarter of 2016 that has just passed, I must say that I have never done so much decluttering / throwing away stuff before in my life. Like I was sharing with a friend just the other day, have been throwing things since end Jan …… starting from office (where we had to do the table swap) …… then some last minute pre-CNY throwing at home ….. then more decluttering post CNY (both physical stuff + digital – data & emails) as part of 30DLBL task …… and more throwing back again at office since mid-March due to team transfer and re-organization.

And this is NOT counting decluttering out my wabrobe (the last time I did it was in year 2013, intend to do another round again some time in the future). Ha!

image

The usual once-a-year pre CNY clearance. Could have thrown out more stuff if not for the food poisoning that got me down right before CNY.

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The above is probably only the ‘tip’ of the ice-berg where office clearing is concerned. Due to table swap, kept away the rainbow calligraphy which I NOW believe has affected my energy flow (resulting in food poisoning and many obstacles at work post CNY) …… and finally clearing out the ‘temp’ desk before my BIG move down to level 8 over the Good Friday weekend. Believe this seat has bad fengshui, so glad to see the back of it!