Wouldn’t It Be Great?

Wouldn’t it be great if life turns out the way we want it to be? Wouldn’t it be great if we are able to achieve everything that we ever wanted? Wouldn’t it be great if we never have to experience hardships?

Well, maybe.

In the book, ‘The Time Keeper’ by Mitch Albom, there is a quote that says:

“With endless time, nothing is special. With no loss or sacrifice, we can’t appreciate what we have”

— Mitch Albom, The Time Keeper

It would be wonderful to be able to achieve everything that we ever wanted from our dream careers to the relationships that we have. However, I believe by having so removes what makes us truly human. When we are given or, spoonfed rather, allowing us to achieve everything that we ever wanted, it removes what makes failing or loss so special, it removes our sense of appreciation.

Training hard for a competition, studying for hours to prepare for an examination and working long hours every single day to build a successful company, all of the blood, sweat and tears put in will make us appreciate our successes even more. We understand the tremendous amount of effort that is required.

So, maybe…

Maybe it would be great but maybe it wouldn’t be either.

 

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Go Backwards to Move Forward

I was reading ‘Landline’ by Rainbow Rowell a fiction novel about a married woman, Georgie, who is struggling with her marriage and the relationship that she has with her husband and two daughters. She feels that her marriage is affected because she puts in a lot of time into her career as a scriptwriter chasing her dream of having her own show. So, when she had to make a choice between spending Christmas with her family in Omaha and staying behind working on her dream, she chose the latter. From then on, when her husband seemingly avoids her by not picking up her calls, she fell into a spiral of regret and pain thinking that she had caused her marriage to break. When she tried calling her husband through the landline at her mother’s house and her husband had picked up, she realised that it was her husband from the past, her husband from 17 years back during the ‘lost’ week where they had not spoken. The week before her husband proposed to her.

Hence, as I read this book, I remembered a quote from the Game of Thrones by Quaithe when she advised Daenarys in Qarth.

“To go north, you must journey south. To reach the west, you must go east. To go forward you must go back, and to touch the light you must pass beneath the shadow.”

What I understand from it is that for you to proceed on and lead your life, you have to recall your past and the lessons that you have learnt or, you have to look back at your past and remember the roots that you had built your life on.

So, in the case of the Georgie, Georgie looks back to her past and since it is a closed loop, — she cannot amend the past because it has already happened — she would have to remember and relive how much she cared and loved her husband. She would have to understand again how selfless her husband is and how did her husband came to love her. Thus, to move forward and understand that her marriage can still be saved, she has to go back and recall the love and understanding that both she and her husband had 17 years ago.

Sometimes we forget, we forget the things that brought us to where we are, we forget the promises that we made with our loved ones and the understanding that we had. We forget the mutual understanding a relationship is built on and thus, over time, we took advantage of that comfort like how Georgie had taken advantage of her husband’s selflessness. Therefore, it is important once in a while that we take the time to look back to our past, to revisit the time when we were actually happy, to the time when arguments and problems were something unthinkable so that we can move forward and fix the mistakes that have been made.

Monthly Challenge #2

  1. Fitness:
    a) Bar Brothers’ Requirements
    b) Deadlift 140kg X 5
  2. Read:
    a) Being Mortal by Atul Gawande
    b) Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuk
    c) The Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson
    d) Landline by Rainbow Rowell
  3. Produce eight videos
  4. Take a photograph and post a mini story on Instagram every day

The above would be my Monthly Challenge for the period of 1st June – 1st July 2016.

🙂

Amazed by Stories

I love stories, especially fantasy fiction.

Recently, I just completed reading The Kingkiller Chronicles #1 and #2 and they were amazing. I cannot wait for the third book to come out! Anyway, those two books are good examples of books that I can easily get obsessed with due to the depth of the story, the unexpected twists and turns and especially the character creation. I love it when the author is able to create a character so relatable and so real that somewhat, you thought that you really knew the character.

The Kingkiller Chronicles have amazing characters that are able to pull you into the story by the words they said and the actions that they take. Furthermore, the author was able to maintain a sense of realness about them by allowing the characters to take express in multiple emotions throughout their story in the books, from sadness to anger to happiness to lust and to love. It is such stories that excites me and drags me into its very depths, soon, I find myself engrossed in the story spending hours just reading.

Apart from wonderful character development and creation, I am amazed by the way authors are able to create a whole world including a very solid lore and history. In the Kingkiller Chronicles, there were several key points that the author shared about the history of the land but apart from that, the rest was shrouded in mystery slowly revealing itself one by one as we go through deeper into the story. That kept the books exciting to read because we will never know what adventure would the protaganist embark on.

Another favourite of mine when reading fantasy fiction is the way these characters speak to each other. I am forever amazed by the way one character would approach another and the words that they used. The phrases that they said during courting or just merely between two men in a bar. What I would always do is to read quotes from the book and memorise the way they say it and maybe… just maybe I could apply it in real life. Here are some of my favourites from the Kingkiller Chronicles:

“It is a word. Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest hearts. There are seven words that will make a person love you. There are ten words that will break a strong man’s will. But a word is nothing but a painting of a fire. A name is the fire itself.”

 

“If you want to know the truth of who you are, walk until not a person knows your name. Travel is the great leveler, the great teacher, bitter as medicine, crueler than mirror-glass. A long stretch of road will teach you more about yourself than a hundred years of quiet introspection.”

Oh, there is so much more quotes that I would love to share and I am literally feeling so excited just reading them. Oh, how much I love stories. I guess, one day, I would love to be a great storyteller too.

One Life to Live

Since the moment we are born, we are dying.

Every single thing that we do from then on will become a part of us till we die. The failures, and the successes. Unfortunately, there is no ‘restart’ button, no ‘pause’ in life and it will continue no matter what you do. Whether we like it or not, we have only one life to live.

I am in my 20s and I have a long road ahead of me. I can foresee that I will need to make many decisions with regards to career, life and relationships and I am scared, scared to know that I might make a wrong decision and also the thought that we only have this one chance at life pressures me further.

I believe that for almost everyone, being in our 20s is not easy. The countless decisions to make, the responsibilities that follow and the fear that our lack of experience can fail us anytime.

However, as I read ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’ by Viktor E. Frankl, I remembered something that I forgot, something that had given me peace before for the outcome of the decisions that I will make.

A rich and mighty Persian once walked in his garden with one of his servants. The servant cried that he had just encountered Death, who had threatened him. He begged his master to give him his fastest horse so that he could make haste and flee to Teheran, which he could reach that same evening. The master consented and the servant galloped off on the horse. On returning to his house the master himself met Death, and questioned him, “Why did you terrify and threaten my servant?” “I did not threaten him; I only showed surprise in still finding him here when I planned to meet him tonight in Teheran,” said Death.

MY TOP 5 MOST ANTICIPATED BOOKS 2016

Most Anticipated Books of 2016!

 

2 015 has been an awesome year. It is the year where I really went all out in reading and it all started with a Youtube video.

Also, in 2015, I’ve discovered so many amazing books that I could not believe why I had not started being serious in reading earlier! It has been such an amazing journey travelling through the imaginary worlds of wonderful authors in 2015 and I hope for more awesome books in 2016. Below are as far as I’ve researched, my TOP 5 MOST ANTICIPATED BOOKS OF 2016!

LADY MIDNIGHT BY CASSANDRA CLARE (THE DARK ARTIFICES #1)

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In the summary, the story takes place 5 years after The Mortal Instruments with the main character being Emma Carstairs and her parabatai Julian Blackthorn. There seem to be parallels between The Dark Artifices and the other two series being The Infernal Devices and The Mortal Instruments. The characters stayed in an institute, there seemed to be someone trying to ruin the relationship between Downworlders and the Shadowhunters, and there seemed to be a cheesy relationship happening between the main character and someone she’s not supposed to fall in love with (I’m guessing her Parabatai, Julian Blackthorn).

Even though there seemed to be so many similarities, I am kind of intrigued to read further into the world of Shadowhunters and Downworlders. Also, I’m super sure the covers of the series are going to be EPIC!

I love the Infernal Devices Trilogy and I’m also currently reading The Mortal Instruments Series. Loving them both and I’m sure Cassandra Clare will not disappoint us with this new series/trilogy?

RELEASE ON MARCH 8TH 2016

A TORCH AGAINST THE NIGHT BY SABAA TAHIR (AN EMBER IN THE ASHES #2)


If you have not read ‘An Ember in the Ashes’ by Sabaa Tahir, you’re missing out! It is a fantasy/magical/young adult novel with two perspectives about a slave girl and a young warrior. It tells a story about manipulation, betrayal and trust.

The story started from where the previous book left off which was the escape of Laia and Elias from the prison-like school for Masks, a group of elite soldiers who were trained from young. Their goal is to break Laia’s brother from the horrible Kauf Prison.

The summary also includes a possible betrayal by Helene Aquilla who in the previous book is super loyal to the Empire. That intrigued me because I found her to be such a burden in the previous book with all her loyalty to an oppressive regime. Definitely a book which I cannot wait to indulge myself in!

RELEASE ON AUGUST 30 2016

THE FATE OF THE TEARLING BY ERIKA JOHANSEN (THE QUEEN OF THE TEARLING #3)

03 The Fate of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
This is a dystopian/fantasy-ish book about a young princess who was hidden by her mother and at the age of 19, was made the Queen of the Tearling. It is set in a dystopian future whereby the people lived in cottages and castles after the era of technology. It tells the story of a young girl, forced to grow up quickly to lead a dying nation against the tyranny and danger of Mortmesne, a neighbouring rival country.

In the Invasion of the Tearling, there were two perspectives within the book. One was of Kelsea, the Queen of the Tearling and the other was of Lily, an ordinary civilian in the past. I was pretty frustrated with the book because it did not disclose much about the relationship between Kelsea and Lily and why Kelsea kept receiving flashbacks of Lily. Also, the magic was very limited and I’m pretty sure there must be more to the it than just a few lucky incidences.

Therefore, I really cannot wait to read the final book of the series and hopefully able to receive some closure to the story! The politics, plotting and the lessons that we can learn from the books are wonderful and it is definitely a book worth reading and rereading!

RELEASE ON NOVEMBER 29 2016

THE ROSE & THE DAGGER BY RENEE AHDIER (THE WRATH & THE DAWN #2)

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The Wrath & the Dawn was an awesome and beautifully written novel. It is a retelling (sort of) of A Thousand and One Arabian Nights. It tells the story of love, loyalty and guilt.

I love the romance in the novel where it shows the triumph of love over hate. I’m also intrigued by the magical aspects introduced within the first book and I’m sure more of it will be introduced in this book. There’s so much misunderstanding between the characters that I feel like punching all of them in the face and telling them to calm the hell down.

All in all, I’m sure this next book will be awesome and a fast read like the first! I can’t bloody wait!

RELEASE ON MAY 3 2016

CALAMITY (RECKONERS #3) & THE BANDS OF MOURNING (MISTBORN #6) BY BRANDON SANDERSON

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I put these two together because both are by the amazing BRANDON SANDERSON. He is such a legend. I fell in love with his books when I read the original Mistborn Trilogy. Since then, I went on to read Warbreaker. His talent in writing original magic systems with interesting references to religions and cultures continues to astound me.

Calamity is the last book in the Reckoners series and when it comes out, I can finally start marathoning the whole series, I am also planning to do the same with the Wax and Wayne series. I just feel that it is not right to read a series part by part especially series from Brandon Sanderson. I do not want to shortchange the reading experience.

Calamity: RELEASE ON FEBRUARY 16 2016
The Bands of Mourning: RELEASE ON JANUARY 26 2016Most Anticipated Books 2016

Ohh, how amazing 2016 will be! I cannot wait for all these amazing books to come out! These are just my TOP 5 MOST ANTICIPATED BOOKS, there are still more wonderful books which I am excited for! I’m sure in 2016, there’ll be more wonderful authors and more awesome books that I will get my hands on and that is enough to satisfy my reading in 2016.