My Louise-and-alien realization for 2018

It’s 2018 tomorrow, and I don’t have a list of things I want to achieve. No lists of goals, to-dos, plans, etc. specific for this new year. For me, goal setting at the beginning of a new year is no more important than setting goals during the year. Why use ‘one year’ as a unit? Why not ‘3 months’, ‘1 month’, or ‘24-7’?

🔍👀 Read on to see what’s up with Louise and alien, and what they have to do with my 2018!

Me and sis staring at the sunset in Maldives :D

Me and sis staring at the sunset in Maldives :D


Before we begin...

I was on a radio programme a few years back (January 1, 2013), and I made the exact same point - why bother to use 1 year as a unit for our resolutions? Too bad I didn’t keep a record of that episode… But here’s a semi-proof that I was indeed on the radio :P

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While I don’t have goals specific to the new year, I do have a few promises for myself in 2018:



1. Louise and Alien

Has anyone watched Arrival? I watched it on the plane and couldn’t finish it the first time. The leading character, Louise, was a linguist trying to decipher alien language. (I thought I was supposed to resonate with her in the movie, but no, the first part of the movie was some weird flashback of her memory.) Anyway, I managed to finish it in another flight. The quote above really stood out.

Louise Banks: Let's say that I taught them Chess instead of English. Every conversation would be a game. Every idea expressed through opposition, victory, defeat. You see the problem? If all I ever gave you was a hammer...

Colonel Weber: Everything's a nail.


It’s true. Language shapes how we perceive things, and social media seems to be the 'language' of worthiness these days. Metrics such as ‘likes’, ‘followers’ are shoved under your nose every second. People like to evaluate the worthiness of what someone does by how many likes it receives, or whether you can make money from it. They also think what I'm doing is bizarre.

What if… I don’t need money from this blog, at least for now? What if I told you… people rarely ‘like’ my posts but the readership is often 20x more? And that some of my close friends told me they actually read it and it changed how they view certain things?

You see, I don’t think we can measure ‘impact’ easily (shout out to Maxime! :D). If all we ever think about worthiness is related to social media and wealth, then all we ever see is the metrics. There is no other way to make sense of these except comparison and quantification. Yet these metrics mean nothing to me. I… just want to make my thoughts heard?



So my 2018 goal is to seek meaning in things I do.

We don’t always need a hammer. We’re just fine holding nothing. We don’t have to justify our worthiness to anyone. We’re just… here. The moment we define worthiness is the moment when we acknowledge it as ‘a thing’. But.. why do we need it in the first place?




2. Be present.

How many of us feel overwhelmed and tired all the time? I do! Because whatever I’m doing, my mind is constantly running in another direction. I’m thinking about the next thing I want to do while doing things in front of me. I never pause and experience what is there for me. I end up feeling drained being attentive to everything.

Millennials like us are notorious for being constantly distracted. There’s so much information out there, so much to see, so much to do. In 2018, I want to be present for people I care about and things I love doing.

I mentioned about not giving a fuck to things, but not giving a fuck doesn’t mean being impolite. Once I decided to give my time to something or someone, I want to actively carve out time for them. So no constantly checking phone when speaking to family and friends. No thinking about other stuff when eating with grandma. Be present physically and mentally.




3. Be more materialistic.

I wish I’m more materialistic. In a sense, most of us are not materialistic enough, because if you are, you would give a damn about:

That we are not materialistic enough, this brilliant idea, is from the documentary ‘Minimalism’. While they seem to advocate owning as little things as possible, I’d like to tweak it a little bit - the next time we want to buy something, really think about what exactly you’re buying and why.

Having 10 bags of expensive garbage that you don’t even love wearing is more ‘cheap’ than owning 1 piece of quality item that you repeatedly rock.




4. Don’t ask for advice just because i'm insecure.

These are stupid things we do.

I often ask for advice to seek reassurance when I’ve already made up my mind. Kammie, remember: don’t ask esp when you have no intention to change your way because of another’s advice. No one knows what I’m about to do more than I do.

#hello double-chin! 👋I get scared all the time... And I didn't go to Harvard. 👻  Thank you  Sharon  for this awesome photo capturing how scared I was hahaha

#hello double-chin! 👋I get scared all the time... And I didn't go to Harvard. 👻  Thank you Sharon for this awesome photo capturing how scared I was hahaha




5. Stay with people who ‘get’ me.

There’s a difference between listening to opposite ideas vs choosing your company. We always need devil’s advocate next to us to keep us on our toes, but we also thrive when these people are the ones who understand you + what you’re doing.

I am a person who is very sensitive to positive/negative energy around me, so instead of changing myself, I’m deliberately cultivating an environment where I’m surrounded with like-minded friends :)


And… that’s it for my 2018 goals! Only 5 goals, and no KPI, no milestones or whatsoever, because these are things I can do starting RIGHT NOW. What about you?

Happy twenty-eighteen! xoxo