Today is Malaysia’s 52nd National Day and to all Malaysians, I wish you all Selamat Hari Kebangsaan.  I know there are a lot of people who are not in a celebratory mood due to worries about H1N1, the economic downturn, the political situation and other issues.  Yes, it is sad to watch what is going on in Malaysia but let’s unite and pray for a better Malaysia irrespective of religion or race.

Which Malaysian has not been seen this image of Tunku Abdul Rahman declaring "Merdeka! Merdeka! Merdeka!"?

Which Malaysian has not been seen this image of Tunku Abdul Rahman declaring "Merdeka! Merdeka! Merdeka!"?

Let the Malaysian flag fly high!

Let the Malaysian flag fly high!

Let the Malaysian flag fly high!

none

I came across this news on Reuters yesterday. It is another proof that you can sell almost anything on Ebay.

An American widow sold her husband’s burial crypt directly on top of film legend Marilyn Monroe’s final resting place for $4.6 Million dollars.

The famous Marilyn Monroe blown-up dress photo that captivated millions

The famous Marilyn Monroe blown-up dress photo that captivated millions

The crypt above Marilyn Monroe's sold for $4.6 million on Ebay!

The crypt above Marilyn Monroe's sold for $4.6 million on Ebay!

Elsie Poncher sold the crypt in Westwood Village Memorial Park cemetery in Los Angeles to pay off the $1.6 million mortgage on her Beverley Hills home.  The cemetery is home to legends such as Dean Martin, James Coburn, Ray Orbison, Truman Capote and the recent arrival Farrah Fawcett. Elsie’s husband Richard Poncher bought the crypt from baseball star Joe DiMaggio, Marilyn’s ex-husband, as the famous couple was divorcing in 1954.

Monroe died at age 36 in 1962 and Richard Poncher died in 1986 at the age of 81. Richard’s body was positioned to allow him to look “face down” on Monroe. Elsie plans to move her husband’s remains over one spot to a crypt that had been intended as her own final resting place as she wants to be cremated when she dies.

Elsie listed the crypt on eBay at a starting bid of $500,000 and the listing description stated ” Here is a once in a lifetime and into eternity opportunity to spend your eternal days directly above Marilyn Monroe”.  It attracted 21 bids when it closed on 24th August 2009 with a winning bid of $4.6 million.   The winning bid came from an unidentified person from Japan but this person pulled out of the deal. Elsie’s attorney, David Camel, is currently going through the bids to find a qualified buyer.

Isn’t that incredible?

none

15Malaysia is a project of 15 short films directed by 15 Malaysian directors and is a collaboration between the 15 film directors and WiMAX telecommunication company Packet One Networks Sdn Bhd. The mastermind behind 15Malaysia is singer/songwriter/actor Pete Teo.

Malaysian singer/songwriter/actor Pete Teo

Malaysian singer/songwriter/actor Pete Teo

The 15 films feature an interesting cast of actors, musicians, local celebrities and POLITICIANS. The politicians featured in some of the films are Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, PAS spiritual leader Nik Aziz Nik Mat, Parti Keadilan Rakyat information chief Tian Chua, UMNO Youth Chief Khairy Jamaluddin and Dewan Negara Senator Datuk Zaid Ibrahim. The films deal with social-political issues ranging from race relations, bribery, corruption, Islamic Banking, party hopping, Mat Rempit, halal cooking, the state of Malaysian football, social apathy, freedom of expression and paedophilia.

The 15 films and their release dates:

(01) Potong Saga by Ho Yuhang (released on August 17 2009)

Namewee in Potong Saga

Potong Saga by Ho Yuhang (starring Namewee)

(02) Chocolate by the late Yasmin Ahmad (released on August 19 2009)

Chocolate directed by the late Yasmin Ahmad

Chocolate directed by the late Yasmin Ahmad

(03) The Tree by Amir Muhammad (released on August 21 2009)

Starring PAS spiritual leader Niz Aziz Nik Mat

The Tree by Amir Muhammad (starring PAS spiritual leader Nik Aziz Nik Mat)

(04) House by Linus Chung (released on August 24 2009)

House directed by Linus Chung

House directed by Linus Chung

(05) Halal by Liew Seng Tat (scheduled for release on August 26 2009)

Halal by Liew Seng Tat

Halal by Liew Seng Tat

(06) The Son by Desmong Ng ( scheduled for release on August 28 2009)

The Son by Desmond Ng

The Son by Desmond Ng

(07) Lumpur by Kamal Sabran (scheduled for release on August 31 2009)

Lumpur by Kamal Sabran

Lumpur by Kamal Sabran

(08) One Future by Tan Chiu Mui (scheduled for release on September 2 2009)

One Future by Tan Chui Mui

One Future by Tan Chui Mui

(09) Slovak Sling by Woo Ming Jin (scheduled for release on September 4 2009)

Slovak Sling by Woo Ming Jin

Slovak Sling by Woo Ming Jin

(10) Gerhana by James Lee  (scheduled for release on September 7 2009)

Gerhana by James Lee

Gerhana by James Lee

(11) Meter by Benji & Bahir (scheduled forv release on September 9 2009)

Meter by Benji & Bahir (starring UMNO Youth Chief Khairy Jamaluddin)

Meter by Benji & Bahir (starring UMNO Youth Chief Khairy Jamaluddin)

(12) Duit Kecil by Johan Johan (Scheduled for release on September 11 2009)

Duit Kecil by Johan John

Duit Kecil by Johan John

(13) Healthy Paranoia by Khairil Bahar (scheduled for release on September 14 2009)

Healthy Paranoia by Khairil Bahar (starring Malaysian Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai

Healthy Paranoia by Khairil Bahar (starring Malaysian Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai

(14) Lollipop by Nam Ron (scheduled for release om September 15 2009)

Lollipop by Nam Ron

Lollipop by Nam Ron

(15) Rojak! by Suleiman Brothers (scheduled for release on September 16 2009)

Rojak! by Suleiman Brothers

Rojak! by Suleiman Brothers

Ho Yuhang’s Potong Saga is the first film to be released and has proven to be a big hit. It features Wee Meng Chee or better known as Namewee who gained enormous publicity and notoriety for his infamous Negarakuku song in 2007. This film offers a comical exaggeration of the Chinese community’s misguided assumptions about Islamic Banking. Do watch it and have a hearty laugh!

The final film “Rojak!” by the Suleiman Brothers is aptly scheduled to be released on September 16, the anniversary of the formation of Malaysia. To catch all the 15 films, take note of the release dates and watch them either on YouTube or the 15Malaysia website:

http://15Malaysia.com/films/

one

The owners of the Sears Tower Chicago, the tallest skyscraper in the United States , installed four glass box viewing platforms. These balconies are suspended 1,353 feet (412 meters) in the air on the 103rd floor. They are 10ft high and 10ft wide and can hold 5 tons with their 1.5 inch thick glasses. You can get a really impressive view from the platform and it is definitively something to try out if you happen to visit Chicago…but it is definitely not for people who have vertigo….and I am one of these people! If I were to step on to the platform, I will 100% suffer from extreme giddiness and there is a very high chance that I would vomit.

searstowerchicago

Sears Tower Chicago

Looking Down on Chicago From Sears Tower

Sears Tower

Sears Tower

Sears Tower

Sears Tower

Sears Tower

Sears Tower


Sears Tower

Sears Tower

Sears Tower


searstower14

Sears Tower

Sears Tower

Sears Tower

Sears Tower

Sears Tower
one

If you want to be happy tomorrow you need to begin working at it today. Some people spend their lives waiting for happiness to arrive on its own and it never comes. Others work hard at creating wealth but still aren’t happy, discovering that money only brings a whole different set of problems. Happiness is a state of mind and not the size of your bank account. Happiness is emotional and not physical. Each individual needs to work at creating their own happiness.

I like how Richard Bach, the author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull, put it when he said, “If your happiness depends on what somebody else does, I guess you do have a problem.”

To find happiness you first have to understand where happiness comes from. Memories are to the mind what a mirror is to the eyes – a reflection. The mirror reflects the physical while our memories reflect the emotional. When you look in the mirror it reflects what you look like; when you look in your mind it reflects who you are. One big difference between the two is that you can change what you see in the mirror but you can’t change the memories reflected in your mind.

We tend to spend a lot of time trying to improve what we see in the mirror, but little or no effort trying to improve our thoughts. Every action creates a memory. Do you really think that the person who is bitter and angry today was happy and cheerful yesterday? If a person says or does something which angers or upsets us, we can either add to the painful memory with our own negative actions or we can replace them with positive actions and create positive memories.

If you want to be happy tomorrow you must choose carefully what you do today, because today’s actions will be reflected in tomorrow’s memories and you can not make them go away. Everything you do today will be in tomorrow’s reflection. The next time a person angers you, instead of lashing out, try imagining that you are holding up a mirror that bounces the reflection back at him, knowing that his actions or words are a reflection of him and not of you.

We all want to like what we see in the mirror. To be truly happy we also have to like what we see reflected in our minds. What the mirror reflects is not nearly as powerful as what the mind reflects, for it reflects our words and actions.

What will your reflections be filled with? Will your reflections/memories be filled with goodness and joy or with bitterness and anger? What have you done today that will bring you happiness tomorrow?

Happiness is not a destination. It is a method of life.

Happiness is not a destination. It is a method of life.

none

The haze in Borneo is really getting worse. Despite efforts by the local authorities, the haze in Miri has reached an unhealthy level.  I know a lot of the haze is due to forest fires in Kalimantan, most of which have been deliberately lit to clear land for oil palm and paper plantations. But here in Miri, there are also a lot of local part-time roadside farmers  in Tukau, Kuala Baram area and other areas who indiscriminately start fires to clear land for growing crops.  These  people would disappear once the authorities are present but when the authorities are not around, they will start again.  They seem to be playing a game of hide-and-seek with the authorities. These people are in my honest opinion very selfish people. They encroach on state or private land to grow crops and in the process do a lot of damage to our air quality through their open burning.  Once the fires have cleared the land, you will see these people stacking their “claims”  to the land by using nylon strings to mark their “territories”.

This morning when I was sending my wife to work, I noticed that the haze was really bad. In some areas visibility was badly affected. I really feel sorry for those who have respiratory problems. It must be tough for them with the unhealthy haze enveloping the whole town.  The air quality is bad and the heat is often suffocating. And then there is the also the much-dreaded Influenza A or H1N1 that is spreading across the world including Malaysia. The total fatalities in Malaysia due to H1N1 has risen to 32 according to the latest report and that is starting to scare a lot of people.

This photo was taken at the Lutong traffic lights.

This photo was taken at the Lutong traffic lights this morning.

Taken on the flyover near the Boulevard Shopping Complex this morning.

Taken on the flyover near the Boulevard Shopping Complex this morning.

Another photo taken on the flyover near Boulevard Shopping Complex...visibility was badly affected.

Another photo taken on the flyover near Boulevard Shopping Complex...visibility was badly affected.

According to newspaper reports, the haze will be  be around for a few more weeks and that is bad news. A heavy downpour will bring much relief……so let’s all pray for it.  May it rain cats and dogs soon!

none

The majority of people look outside of themselves as the cause of their unhappiness or frustration. After all, wouldn’t life be practically perfect if the significant people in our lives would simply do things the way we want them to or do what we think is best for them? Actually, this is the kind of thinking that perpetuates the misery!

True happiness lies within you...you control your state of happiness!

True happiness lies within you...you control your state of happiness!

I agree that most of today’s unhappiness centers on important people in our lives not cooperating with us. Can anyone relate to that? Have you ever had a child who makes a decision that puts them in serious danger? Have you ever had a significant other decide to relocate or make an employment decision with which you were not in agreement? Did one of your parents ever say something critical to you that rocked your confidence? Ever had a supervisor who criticised your work and never gave credit for your good work performance? I think you get the idea. Any one or combination of these things can be a source of unhappiness for us and I’m sure you can add several others to the list.

While we are in situations such as these, it sure feels like if the others in our life would just cooperate and be the way we want them to be, and then our lives would be so much better, happier and more fulfilling. While this may, in fact, be true, what I also believe is this. While we are busy trying to get those significant others in our lives to do things our way, the behaviors we typically engage in to move others in our desired direction are exactly those behaviors that damage, and ultimately destroy, our relationships.

You know the behaviors I’m talking about: punishing, guilting, complaining, nagging, threatening, criticizing, “the silent treatment”, and if we are particularly savvy, rewarding to control, otherwise known as bribing.

If you are one of those people whose first choice of action is to negotiate and open the doors of communication, then you are rare. Ask yourself what do you typically resort to when negotiations fail?

What I am about to say probably goes against what you have believed the good majority of your life and that is that you, and you alone, are responsible for your own happiness. If you are waiting for someone to do something differently or for a particular thing to manifest itself in your life in order for you to be happy, then you are operating from the outside in instead of the inside out.

I am not here to tell you to stop what you are currently doing. If you want to hold on to your beliefs that when your husband becomes more affectionate, your children more obedient, your wife more supportive, your boss more appreciative or you to get your education, pay off your credit cards, buy your first home, etc. in order for you to be happy, then go ahead. But for those of us who want to practice inside out thinking, we don’t like to give the power to others to control our happiness or any of our other moods or emotions. We know that we are responsible for ourselves and no one else.

What I can help you with is learning how to be the person you want to be, feel the emotions you want to feel by changing what you do and how you think about things. There is a quote I want to leave you with from Jimmy Dean. “You can’t change the direction of the wind, but you can adjust your sails.” This is representative of true inside out thinking. People and events are going to be what they are around us. There is very little we can do to impact other people’s behavior and the uncontrollable events in our lives but there is always something each of us can do to manage those things better.

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do, are in harmony.

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do, are in harmony.

none

I was taking a break from listing my stamps on eBay when I saw the breaking news on CNN  about the homecoming of Laura Ling and Euna Lee after about 5 months’ detention by the North Korean government. Lee bowed as she walked down the steps of the plane into a private hangar, and Ling raised her fists into the air.

Ling raising her fists into the air as she emerged from the plane.

Ling raising her fists into the air as she emerged from the plane.

Oh, it was such a touching moment watching the reunion of Laura and Euna with their families who were waiting at the bottom of the stairs.  Indeed it brought tears to my eyes especially after watching the reunion of Euna Lee with her husband and her 4-year old daughter Hannah. Hannah has not seen her mum since March and you can see how overjoyed Lee was as she tearfully held Hannah tightly to her.

Euna Lee holding tightly to Hannah as her husband held her in his embrace and Laura Ling being kissed and hugged by her husband.

Euna Lee holding tightly to Hannah as her husband held her in his embrace and Laura Ling being kissed and hugged by her husband.

Euna Lee & family in a tight embrace and Laura Ling being hugged by her mum with her husband and sister looking on.

Euna Lee & family in a tight embrace and Laura Ling being hugged by her mum with her husband and sister looking on.

Laura addressed the media with a speech that touched heartstrings and brought tears to many around the world.  She spoke about going to a meeting and when they were taken to the meeting, they saw before them former US President Bill Clinton. They were shocked but at the same time, they knew instantly in their hearts that their nightmare was finally coming to an end.

Laura Ling addressing the media with a tearful speech.

Laura Ling addressing the media with a tearful speech.

Laura addressing the media with Euna by her side and Al Gore and Laura's behind them. father

Laura addressing the media with Euna by her side and Al Gore and Laura's father Doug Ling behind them.

This piece of news really made my day. God is great!

one

Emotional baggage…..it is something we all have them in varying degrees. It has many faces. We store them in the remotest part of our brain, in the deepest chambers of our hearts. We have them in our extensive database of memories. Some are so close  to the heart that they bring out tears at the slightest provocation. Other baggage may feel arouse our anger or very deep resentments and may result in us exhibiting anti-social or antagonistic behaviours.

Are you carrying excessive emotional baggage?

Are you carrying excessive emotional baggage?

Shadows follow and haunt many, in their dreams or waking hours, in unlikely places, unexpected and intimidating. Uncontrollable anger that can lead to violence can explode without warning. Resentment can wreck lives and cause much bitterness.

Others will live in denial and spend their lives disconnected with the real world. They withdraw to their own make-believe world. Some will find blame in everyone except themselves; it’s always the other person’s fault. What  about victims and the victimizers?

Many are lost searching for something they can not identify. Something is missing. There seems to be no purpose in living. A mass of lonely faces line  the crowded streets, sit in public places, in schools, agonize through the day in the workplace, gather at churches perhaps to seek solace. Everyday we see a vast sea of sad , depressed and unfriendly faces. Our roads are open avenues to lash out their frustrations, thus uncontollable road rage. Scary.

Emotional excess baggage demands a high price at times. There are those who succumb to the weight of this burden when it becomes too much for them to bear. They find no further reason to keep up the fight. Life loses its  lustre, they find the world cruel, their existence meaningless. To them, the fight is over, if there ever was one.

There are many who go through life like a driftwood and let the current take them wherever.  It does not matter anymore. Is our world this cruel?

What causes these emotional suffering?

Broken dreams, broken relationships, failed careers, lost hopes, betrayals, violations, childhood trauma, abuses or other forms of trauma ,add to this health issues. Social disgrace, financial disasters, poverty and addictions cast deep emotional scars to the most vulnerable members of the family and society.

Emotional baggage....the hidden dangers

Emotional baggage....the hidden dangers

Is our fast-paced society to blame? Add to this the pursuit of material success, endless toys,gadgets and exponential advances in technology. Fragile relationships, weakening  family ties, unreasonable expectations of self and of others add to the already overstuffed emotional baggage.Some carry  them for a long, long time.

All is not lost, if we take a moment to listen to our deeper needs, beyond the physical. There is a flood of information, organizations, professionals and other resources most communities offer. Deep  emotional  suffering is a critical issue that can no longer be ignored, by society and by those who suffer. There is more to life.

Wisdom of the ages from different cultures and beliefs are revived or revised to suit the present psyche of society. It offers a holistic approach , involving the whole person’s mind, body and spirit.

The wonders of medical and scientific research are vast, although pill-popping is not always the best answer.

Take stock of the weight of  your emotional baggage…..and do something about it. Remove the old emotional baggage that is keeping you from your success. Overcome limiting thoughts, beliefs and behaviors. Let go of your anxieties about the future. Live the life you have always dreamed of!

Get rid of your emotional baggage!

Get rid of your emotional baggage!

You will find that life is really worth living, life can be so beautiful.

none

Though one could be infinitely happy by just enjoying the nature and family and all the human-made things, there are still millions of people who are unhappy.  In the developed countries there is very fortunate circumstance of having both God-given and man-made things.  Still majority of people there are unhappy.  In the developing countries, where for millions there is a real scarcity of even basic needs, people seem to be happy.  There are some people who are engaged in difficult tasks and in warfare, and even incarcerated in prisons, and are still happy!

You would realize that the mere availability and abundance of God-given and human-made things is not enough.  There is something else which should be right to be happy.   Of course, it is our mind that must have right attitude towards and capacity to be happy.

Milton in Paradise Lost says,

‘The mind is its own place, and in itself
Can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven.’

One can give various examples of how mind can influence our body::

•    Pavlov’s dog starts salivating at the sound of the bell without any food in sight.
•    If we are tense we often get headache, backache, and spondylitis, etc.
•    Heart attacks are directly linked to worry and tension.
•    Right mental attitude helps in curing many bodily maladies.
•    By self-talk, motivation, and positive attitude we can become happy and successful.
•    Through hypnosis one can have command over another person’s mind and body.
•    Through meditation one can have a healthy body and extra sensory abilities.

Mind has extra-ordinary powers and as far as happiness is concerned it has the ultimate power.  We should, therefore, have a positive attitude towards life.  Instead of concentrating on bad things in life and people, we should concentrate on redeeming features in them.  We should not keep on thinking about past failures and bad experiences but be encouraged by our past success and good experiences.  Similarly, we should not be unduly anxious about future as our anxiety is not going to have a positive effect, but we should plan and work hard for the future.

In whatever circumstances you are, you can never have total lack of God-given and man-made happiness.  You cannot completely take away nature from somebody; you cannot take away all man-made things from somebody.  Even if everything is taken, one’s family and friends are there.  One’s precious body is there.  And, even if you chain somebody securely in a dungeon, one’s mind is free.  One is free to be happy in one’s mind!  Mind is difficult to be mastered by oneself, but it is impossible to be vanquished by anybody, any authority, or whatever conditions or situations.

Abraham Lincoln has beautifully expressed it: “Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”

BE HAPPY!

none

Categories

Blogroll

Archives

Adverising

sal