Tuesday, March 17, 2009


My parents were generous enough to have exposed me to many things when I was younger. Music, art, song, dance, martial arts and even chess. They always tell me that I could be anything I wanted. That they had brought me up to be one of the most well-rounded children evar. Fit for royalty. Looking at me today - who would've thunk, eh? :)

I was never exceptionally fantastic at everything I did though, I wasn't terrible at them either. But I just wasn't driven enough to want to do MORE to be great at them. I seem to lack passion and focus. Which was a pity. Because everybody around me believed that I could've been so much more if I tried just a little bit harder. This fact bugs the shit out of me because 1) it makes me wonder what the hell are they seeing which I'm not and 2) it makes me feel that I'm meant to do so much more. So why wouldn't I try harder?

There were a few phases in my life, where I actually felt like I KNEW with every fibre of my being, what I wanted to be or do when i grew up.... join the Russian ballet, design clothes, act, be a dancer of some sort, host of my own tv show, travel the world... etc.. But I never tried hard enough to pursue it. Why?

Yet, every single time I experienced something fantastic - like read a good book, watched a timeless movie, learn about people who do great things with so little, watch a mind blowing dance performance - I get goosebumps, the hair at the back of my neck would stand, my mouth would parch, my heart would soar. I would feel like my body could explode from a tsunami of emotions. I'm motivated to want to do great things. I know want to be close to greatness all the time. To always feel so overwhelmed. To be part of something bigger. But who am I? I'm just Jack who mastered nothing. I'm like that dog barking at the sky, wishing to be among the twinkling stars.

I want to know what I am great at. I wish I knew it now. I'm turning 30 soon. I'm getting very impatient because it feels like time is running out. I want my answers now. I want to BE something .. DO something NOW.

I know I want to keep learning. I want to feel, touch, see, smell, taste. I never want to stop experiencing new things. I never want to stand still. I never want to be contented.

Nothing scares me more than the thought that I'll never be exceptional at anything. But what if I am not? What if I'm just born to be average like everyone else? What if, in spite of all the strongest desires of my heart, the feeling as if I can taste it in my tongue, I'm just deluding myself? That I actually will never amount to anything more than a floating speck riding across the infinite space of blackness?

It's a depressing thought.

Shakespeare said something about greatness, I think.. wait let me google it...

Be not afraid of greatness: some men are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them. --William Shakespeare, 'Twelfth Night'

I'm not afraid of greatness. I'm just mortally afraid that I might not posses any type of greatness.

I guess I know now why I never tried too hard. I think I've known it all along.

I'm afraid to find out that my hardest may just not be great enough.


  1. don't try don't know. instead of focusing on achieving greatness, don't be afraid of not achieving greatness. if it comes along great. if not, its fine too, at least you tried!

  2. greatness is not the end itself. discontentment fuels more desire for even greater greatness. and then your ego kick in and you compare yourself with others. there will always be other people greater than you. your fear is irrelevant because one will never be great enough

    you can't be great if you don't think you are great.

  3. You started this blog. Therefore you're great
    Don't be too hard on urself, you'll never know, someone, a stranger or a reader might just look up to you as their inspirational figure.

    doesn't that count as being awesome? =)

  4. bitch.

    you've found your calling what. BLOGGING HELLO.

    behold the powers of FA, ada a whole religious following don't play play. not many people out there can claim that.

    remember: ni shi zui hao de, NI ZHI DAO MA???

  5. Auntie! First thing's first!

    Take care of your diet ya?

    Bad diet = Bad behaviour = ADHD.

    Wanna do great things? Treat your body right first.

  6. i think your weakness is being affraid...
    dont let that stand in your way.. take the plunge and do what your hearts lead you. but! you must always be willing to sacrifice some things to be great. nothing comes free.. nothing comes without time and price.
    so good luck.

  7. i think you are just lonely. go find yourself a boyfriend and everthing will be fine

  8. Have you watched the movie Amadeus? The composer Saleri is torn by that self-same angst, as he watches his rival, Mozart, shine with a natural genius he can only dream of.

    Salieri: “Do you know who I am?”
    Father Vogler: “It makes no difference. All men are equal in God's eyes.”
    Salieri: “Are they?... Are they?”

    Salieri: “I will speak for you, Father. I speak for all mediocrities in the world. I am their champion. I am their patron saint.”

  9. The only thing worse than starting something and failing... is not starting something. - Seth Godin

  10. don't remind me of age pleaseeee

  11. I think the same way as you do. Not trying harder for the fear of not achieving greatness rather than the fear of the task itself. I have no problem with facing challenges, I just have problem getting over the mind barrier that I MIGHT not have overcome that challenge as of what people expected.

    Siao. Damn emo. :P

  12. Maybe you can think of it this way.... look at the journey instead of the destination. We don't have any real destinations anyway, once we get there, we have somewhere else to go.
    So look at what you have at hand and do the best of it!
    It's not what we do that's important, its how we do what we're doing.
    Even a school dropout can invent lightbulbs. Are lightbulbs fantastic? .. . well.... hard to say, but their useful...

  13. The thought of being mediocre is the scariest thing in the world.

    yipin, we all have a destination, the same destination - DEATH.

  14. good to know i'm not the only one feeling that way.

  15. Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others -Marianne Williamson-

  16. I don't know.. I just want to do what I like best, and I have a belief that eventually I'd get good enough at it for it to count.. I think we Malaysians are constantly being told, over and over, that we're not quite that good: we are not native speakers of English, we Asians are not creative, have to take care of rice bowl first, THAT kind of work does not offer a sufficiently pretigious profession. Lawyer, accountant, salesman, programmer.. simple professions, easy to peg, easy for aunts and uncles to evaluate market rate salaries. We are living in slimy liquid pods plugged into the Matrix like Thomas Anderson was before he became Neo.

    This guy's got a pretty interesting blog: he goes out and just does it:

  17. I'll quote Baz Luhrmann:

    Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life, the most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don't.

    Don't worry too much. Most important is to do what YOU enjoy the most. Speaking of that, come to TTDI Plaza and I'll buy you a nice cold one, ok?

  18. Welcome to my life.

    You have an intense interest in everything but nothing in particular. Without trying too hard you accomplish more than what most people achieve with massive amounts of effort. Yet you know it's not your best... it's good but not great. But before you can muster enough energy to embark on the long slog to mastery, something else grabs you.

    What to do? Damned if I know. But you know that unless you focus and put in your 10,000 hours / 10 years of effort you will not be exceptional. Are you ready to drown under that monotony in order to achieve the success you know should be yours?

    If not, it's time to accept yourself for the quirky yet brilliant generalist that you are instead of continually thinking that the "ah ha" moment is around the corner... that moment when you know your purpose in life and you find yourself in flow and perpetual happiness in knowledge you have finally found your path.

    Good luck.


  19. Good Luck! Your thoughts sound so familiar. But for good or bad, I've moved on to another phase of thinking. Now I live life like a slacker I am and take pride in the little things, one thing at a time. I believe life is all about balance, trying overly hard tends to create monsters and not trying at all creates bums.

    You seem more hardworking than me so I'm sure you'll do well. :) Gampattene?

  20. would like to digest the power presentations.

    let me dried my tears and see if i may have anything to say. :P

  21. I really like the comments given here. Makes me feel almost normal to want to achieve something more in my puny-un-meaningful-life. Finding one's path is a journey, not a destination. It took me 6 years to realize that i didn't want to work for someone else. Took me another 2 years to be brave enough to make that jump. Got broke, start a company and do what i love. There hasn't been a day that i regret that took that jump. But there are days when i feel like i don't know what i am doing and unsure about what's going to happen next and I'm scared and excited at the same time. But i suppose that's life. Not knowing makes it worth living. :)

  22. Cibai lah, I wanna be immortal. Then I have all the time in the world to achieve what I wanted.



    PS: Go watch 'The man from earth'. hehehhee.

  23. Well written... at least there are thoughts... that's the beauty of life!!


  24. Wah so much emo this posting.

    Better to be emo at 30, get things changed and continue on. Rather than being emo at 70 and have not much opportunity left.

    Btw, it'll help if you stop reading crappy books or watch crappy movies. Trust me.

  25. the fact that u got 25 + 1 comments and horde of fan reading your blog, is great to me.
    Greatness's relative...i think u r somebody la!

  26. must we compel ourselves to respond to what society dictates like that typical neighborhood stereotype?

    all of us are great in our own ways. only some of us who at the right place and right time seizes an available opportunity becomes great in the eyes of society.

    heroes are born out from circumstances (si sai jou ying hoong and there is no such thing as ying hoong jou si sai)

    live a life the way you want it(not unless you accept my allowances and be my slave) :P grandma used to say don't do unto others you do not want others do unto you.

    and if you have so much time why not spend a couple of hours on "siddharta" by hermann hesse

    frankly i do admire your many talents. envious maybe jealous.

    take care.


  27. Cliche i know but everyone's exceptional in their own way. Not measured by howm much one makes, what car a person drives or what she does for a living.
    Life is too short, and too full of intangible treasures, to be pondering about what may be lacking.
    And perhaps i may have met you just once, but i certainly wouldn't say you're no more than a 'floating speck riding across the infinite space of blackness' :) And you certainly have quite a following online.
    And cheer up about getting close to 30. I went through it a couple of years ago and it's not that bad!

  28. i guess u could count whining as what you're best and greatest at. If you're not too keen that trait, perhaps it would be best for you to start trying something new?

  29. Be happy.

    For man, all the works and wishes actually mean for one simple and consistent desire.

    20 years old : get laid
    30 years old : get laid
    40 years old : get laid
    50 years old : get laid
    60 years old : get laid
    70 years old : get laid

  30. I used to be like you. Afraid I'll never amount to much. Terrified that I'll never be good, REALLY good, at my chosen field - which also happens to be my chosen CAREER. I don't have the networking skills to be mediocre-yet-popular, which is one way to succeed in my line - the only other way is to simply be REALLY good. And I just didn't know if I have what it takes.

    You know what snapped me out of that funk?


    Somewhere along the way, I had enough people - people whose judgment is irrefutable, by virtue of the fact that THEY'RE the really good ones - tell me that I'm not half bad. That I can do good work. That on occasion, I can knock one out of the park. That once in a blue moon, I can even accomplish greatness.

    No, that doesn't make me King High Awesome. It means I've still got a long, hard slog ahead, with much to learn and much mistakes to make and much hard ground for my face to fall flat on. But what it also means is that if I do this, if I commit to this journey, it'll be worth it for me. I've got what it takes.

    Because the Kings High Awesome told me so.

    So my totally unsolicited advice to you is this: Seek validation. But seek it only from those who truly have the greatness to which you aspire. Do the work, show it to them, and ask them for the ugly, unvarnished truth - do you have what it takes?

    And maybe their answer will be no.

    But hey, at least you'll know, right?

  31. christ you're pathetic, stop whining and get out there.

  32. Greatness is overrated. Look what it did for Joan of Arc. Oh sure, she's a saint now, but when she was alive? Burned at the stake.

  33. Depends on what greatness is to you. To me, it's motherhood.
    For all my life, I felt I never achieved ANYthing. I was talented alright, creative, did a lot of stuff that I was proud of, but never quite 'there'. I was 'wandering'. Until my firstborn. Becoming a mother changed a hell lot of things in my life. The good and the not-so-fun bits. My child became my greatness.

  34. Well, perhaps throwing caution into the wind would be the biggest leap of faith one can take to pull out of the (perceived) doldrum

    Perhaps if you really want to, you can start with small wins. Little steps, or little targets to help achieve plausible (but not necessarily easy) wins can help you feel ready for the next challenges

  35. FA's sparring partnerMarch 26, 2009 at 5:06 PM

    Don't forget you did taekwondo last time!

    Whoa! Remember those times when you whacked ppl up!

    FA: Oi. I where got whack ppl! Ppl whack me only lah!

  36. The trouble with greatness is its perception.
    There are billions and billions of people through the years but only a handful ever achieved the "greatness" that we perceive to be... Well, great.
    We equate greatness with those that stand out in history. Those who achieved outstanding feats that stand through time.
    What we need to realise ourselves is that we are generally great at being us. If that is seen as great in the eys of the world then great!
    But what matters is your personal contentment with what you've achieved and that you've done the best for yourself.
    I've learnt to accept that I'll probably not change the world, but I'm truly content with what I've done.
    I may not have fulfilled every single wish and want (probably never) but I don't think I'll die regretting that I didn't achive greatness.
    I think you've done well for yourself so far and there's so much more for you to do. And from what I see (read) you're approaching it the right way.
    Go girl!!


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