Goodbye OCBC Plus!

Goodbye OCBC Plus! It has been nice knowing you. *Sniffs*

OCBC Plus! Card
Source: OCBC Bank

NTUC and/or OCBC Plus! cards and accounts are to be phased out from 01 Feb 2023. The discontinuation is due to the end of the NTUC Plus! partnership with OCBC Bank on 31 Jan 2023. OCBC will be migrating affected parties to its bank. Linkpoints will not be lost. Link members can either connect their Link account to the FairPrice app or apply for a physical Link card here. Affected parties should have received more details about the migration.

Early card design

The early card design certainly had a refreshing look as compared to its peers back in those days. Unlike the “NOW” card from some bank *cough* *cough*

Growing Old

Growing old is something all of us are going through from the day we were born. At this very moment, we are all growing old. This is an inevitable fact of life. Some people take it in their stride, choosing to treasure every minute of their existence. Others look upon it with dread, opting to ignore and lead their life like an immortal. Such is life.

I was young and foolish once. I believe everyone was. When you were young, the thought of growing old and the limits of human life are the last thing on your mind – for most people. It is until when you reach your 40s, the mid-stage of a typical human lifespan that this reality strikes back hard for those who are aware. Middle age marks a major milestone in one’s life and it is no wonder most people are at their most depressed state during this time. When one is young, one leads life blissfully ignorant about their limited life span and when one is old, they humbly accept that they will soon leave this life. Quite a sobering thought.

I too have grown to sober up slowly and humbled by life.

What will my occupation be if computer science never exists

What if computers never existed? What if the world we know today operates without computers, internet, smartphones and all those technology under IT industry? What will I be working as? What kind of job will I be having now? This is a question that I have thought from time to time and its possibilities. This might also apply if I never had a chance to study computer science.

Librarian / Part Time Writer

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Throughout my schooling days, and even till now, I have always loved reading and writing. Libraries are my favourite haunts until the advent of eBooks. In a world without computer technology, I would probably be camping in libraries still. The rows of bookshelves with all the books, with the quietness of the library is a suitable environment that gives peace and comfort. The different books provides access to different world out there to satisfy this mind of mine. With a flair for administrative tasks and some OCD to engage myself in the classification and arrangement of books and materials, I might probably go be a librarian and do some writing in my spare time. Something to escape life itself perhaps.

Health/Medical Professional

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The next option would be to strive to be in the medical profession. My favourite subjects in my schooling days were the sciences, especially Biology, which I top the class/school from time to time. I would do the extra reading during my free time and I remembered my school’s science HOD would lend me some of his books from time to time to give me more exposure to the different aspect of biological sciences. I did aspire to be a doctor and if somehow I could not make the cut, I would still want to work in the medical profession line. I believe it is a noble job and it helps people. Something to make my life more useful and meaningful. Even if computer science exists, I would still have chosen this path, but alas, fate makes fun of man.

Monk

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Monkhood might be an odd one but I think it is something I would go for if I am still single at the mid-stage of my life. I won’t call it a job/occupation but it is something that I have seriously considered at one point or the other.

Goldsmith / Jeweler

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko on Pexels.com

Coming from a family of goldsmith, it is a path that I would prefer not to take, unless I have to, probably to take over the family business if it is still viable. As much as I like the glitter and shiny gold bars, it doesn’t excite me that much and I admit I do not have interest in jewelry making. I had done retail sales in this industry and that is probably where I am headed should I choose this path.

What will you be working as if computers never existed? Feel free to leave your comments!

Onwards 2022

Welcome 2022. As the new year begins, it is time to plan and improve upon last year’s experience. No, this is not about making new year resolutions. We all know resolutions don’t work most of the time. Apart from learning from past experiences and making improvements so that we can be better, it is also about exploring new areas and alternatives for the new year, to find new opportunities to grow and excel.

Rebalancing. Last year has been a pretty chaotic with a lot of surprises lurking round the corner. It has been extremely hectic, both at home and work. I’m not the only one who has experienced this. I believe most people do. As the new year starts, it is time to take stock of matters and rebalance our lives. For me, that would be focusing on providing quality time with my family, carving out time for health and exercises and balancing on resources to areas that I have neglected last year.

Knowing what matters. We have many priorities in life, some more important than others, but they do not necessarily have the same weight for everyone. For instance, some people value family more than anything else in the world, some view material wealth above all. No matter what you deem as most important, it is vital to devote and focus on things that matters the most to you. The rest are just noise.

Picking up new skills. Progression is a must, otherwise we will be going the way of the Dodo. We risk being left behind if we stay stagnant and picking up new skills gives you more confidence and open up new doors. This year, I will continue to pick up new skills and improve myself, not necessary at work but also in different areas of my life. There is no limit to improving yourself.

Remembering to live in the now, the present moment. This is self explanatory I hope. The past is gone, you can never get it back again. The future has yet to come. Now is the time when you can write your future. A good example would be when you are with your family, enjoy the present moment with your loved ones. Stop thinking about work and checking your mobile phone for work email. Be in the now with your family. And when it is time to work, focus on your work and not surfing mindlessly on the internet.

Continuing to write. Writing is a hobby that I have always liked. Although I am not good at it, it serves as a way to perhaps release pent up ideas and thoughts. If it is possible, I do hope to pen down my experience so that someone might find it useful for them. I am currently working on a mini project to bring “I am Doufu” to another platform to get a feel into new technologies and/or concepts. Stay tune for updates in this blog and/or my Twitter.

I think that it is a good practice to reflect and set a guide on what you want to explore or achieve in the new year. Not to set a hard target or timeline but something to point you in the right direction. As proven in 2021, things will not always go the way you want but having a plan and direction is still better than floating around aimlessly.

With that let us embark on our adventurous journey towards 2022!

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Year in Review 2021

In a twinkle of an eye, 2021 is ending soon and 2022 is approaching round the corner. A lot of things have happened this year and it made January 2021 seems just like yesterday. People says, “Times flies while you are having fun.”, unfortunately this year does not seems fun at all. Not at all. But let us have faith and conviction that no matter what happens, we can make lemonades out of lemons. And reviewing the year’s events and performance let us learn and do better.

The early part of my 2021 started with venturing out on a new development platform – Microsoft Dynamics 365 (CRM) with a new CRM consultant. An exciting new prospect was an understatement. It has become a challenge, and at times a source of friction, even for the company as a whole. However, it is still a work in progress and I hope that in 2022, we are able to get the resources we badly need and put ourselves (and the company) in a better position to grow from it. To be honest, I am fine with working on Microsoft CRM under certain conditions, but Microsoft Business Central 365 is still the best platform to work with as compared to Microsoft CRM.

Work From Home (WFH) was relaxed in the first half of the year until the COVID-19 Delta variant arrived at our shores. During that time, we moved office from Golden Mile Complex to Golden Mile Tower. It was not a big move, as compared to the move from Mandai Estate, but we missed the toilets at complex, for they are much cleaner. We definitely miss the good memories we had in Golden Mile Complex office and it was more cozy and brighter there.

Due to the COVID-19 situation, Chinese New Year, birthdays and other family gathering and celebrations are more toned down. We still get to celebrate quietly together and we treasure our relationship and family event more. We definitely prefer to have more family gatherings and celebrations as long as it is safe to do so.

The 3Q of 2021 was a period of worries and sadness. My father in law passed away in a traffic accident and we do miss him badly. To me, he was one of the closest person I had as a fatherly role model. After that, our families got quarantined for COVID-19 as some of our family members caught it. As the country starts to open up and ease into an endemic state, more of my friends and colleagues start to get quarantine orders. It was unnerving.

This year has been pretty much stressful and naturally when under stress, health issues arises. There has been a lot of trips to the hospitals and clinics and I really hope these will end. Also, my old injuries on my front teeth has returned to haunt me and I had to see my dentist more frequently than I would have liked.

In 4Q of 2021, a few of my long time colleagues decided to join the “Great Resignation”, and with no replacement in sight and the company expanding to Malaysia, the rest of us have to make do with what we have. Tensions at work has been rising too, especially so from the recent accusation to the management that a senior member of the team has been idling. Nothing could be further from the truth. Everyone knows that the team has been working hard, including the senior members, and especially the manager. The insane number of nights and weekends burnt to deliver our services to the customers that could have been spent with our families and loved ones was discredited and it has upset and demoralize the team. It has certainly been rough for us.

Last but not least, here are the top 5 posts/pages of 2021

  1. Hugo – First Impression
  2. NAV2016 – How to Import Excel Data into NAV
  3. Business Central – How to use PromotedActionCategories
  4. Lenovo ThinkPad X13 AMD
  5. Bookmarks

As the end of 2021 draws to a close, let us not kid ourselves that 2022 is going to be a better year. More likely, it is going to be filled with even more uncertainties and disruptions. But let’s be hopeful for the future. Let us pray that we have the strength, resilience, kindness and compassion to meet the challenges ahead. May we all grow stronger and more matured from these ordeals.

“Vivere Militare Est”

What do you want?

Whenever someone complains incessantly, especially if you are the one doing it, ask them or yourself this simple question – “What do you want?“. In most cases, it should shut the other party up (no guarantees), but if you are serving this question to yourself, it is important that you answer it honestly. No beating about the bush, no avoiding it.

Complaining can be viewed as a form of stress relief, a bit and ineffective method. It serves no constructive function and waste energy for everyone. It doesn’t help with the situation because it is all in the mind and there are no actions being taken to resolve it. Asking this question, “What do you want?“, puts a pause on the runaway mental train and kickstarts the mind to view the issue from another angle (hopefully).

If there are no answers, then it is advisable to put it to rest since likely there are no solutions to it. Brooding and overthinking it would just further waste more energy and create more pain. It’s not worth it. On the other hand, if there are answers that came out of this question, then the next question to ask would be “What are you going to do about it?“.

What are you going to do about it?“, prepares the mind to translate this thought to something actionable. Something that one can do to resolve this conflict that is inside the head. Make sure that the actionable items are positive and constructive.

I confess to being a serial complainer and i will do the following once I am aware of my mistakes.

  1. Write down on a piece of paper what i am complaining about
  2. Answer the question “What do you want?’ on the paper
  3. If there are answers for (2), then answer “What are you going to do about it?” on the paper
  4. Translate (3) into actionable items (i.e. adding to calendar/task)
  5. Make sure they are positive and constructive before acting upon it

I prefer to write my thoughts on paper instead of processing it in the mind because it slows down the racing mind. From there, one can calmly view and comprehend what is going on and make a more realistic and practical judgement. At the same time, it keeps the focus on what matters at that moment instead of allowing the “monkey” mind to start going off tangent and overthinking again.

Hope that this article is of help to anyone out there. How do/would you handle this issue? What is your tried and tested method? If you have any better ideas, let me know too.

What Matters

Let us be honest about it and face the brutal truth. You are not going to live forever. We are not going to live forever. Our lifespan is finite, unlike money which is pretty much infinite – or at least until you run out of materials to represent one. Not just that, life is full of uncertainties. We do not know how much time we have. Time is a cruel master. Hence, It is understandable why we as humans, tend to not think about the above as realistic but label them as pessimistic thoughts.

What matters? This could be the most important question that one have to ask everyday. What really matters now? This moment, now. While we are at this topic, let us not get confused over what is urgent and what is important. These are two different matters. What is urgent might not be important, but what is important will have to be addressed at some point in your life.

What matters? Is this action that you will be undertaking matter in the next 10, 15, 20 years? Will it affect you for the entire lifetime? Will what matters change as time grinds down whatever finite amount of time that you have? All these are questions are harsh and best answered with honesty.

Remember to keep reviewing and reflecting on what matters. Choose wisely and make the best out of it.