Losing Yourself

I spent my Lunar New Year holiday watching criminal documentaries – “American Murder: The Family Next Door”, “Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel” and “Trial 4”.

The two latter documentaries were intriguing and well made but the first one really touched me the most.

It is about the story of a husband and a dad murdering his pregnant wife and 2 beautiful daughters, so that he could, hopefully, moved on into a “happier” relationship with his new girlfriend.

The documentary showed very personal texts between the couple and also conversations his wife had with her friends about her suspicion about his cheating. The struggles that were shown in the documentary is very real, especially in this day and age where both parties are less dependent on each other and any lack of effort can very quickly lead to straying by a party and/or other unfortunate events.

I watched the documentary with my wife and we both wondered why can’t the killer just go for a divorce since he is unhappy in this marriage, even though he has 2 kids. That’s better than where he is right now, incarcerated and with no possibility of even leaving the prison.

That’s when I told her that when we reach a stage where we lose ourselves, our logical mind starts to become silent. The other mind then starts to “problem solve” and sometimes, the route towards the resolution charted out by this mind may not be logical and is most probably irrational.

How do I know? I know because I have been at the edge before. The step out of the edge is direct and tempting. But I am lucky that I did not cross that line.

It is truly sad to see that two beautiful girls were killed because he lost it. It is unfortunate that his pregnant wife had to lose her life too because she also most probably under-estimated his capacity to act so viciously. He had been a mild mannered guy and it did not helped that he had this new green pasture that was so ready to move on to – towards a new chapter with the love of his life.

I am writing this to remind us all that it is really so easy to lose yourself. Stress over money and family are very slippery slope down the scary path. It is imperative that we stay positive and hopeful and not allow ourselves to lose our compass. No matter how big a problem is, some boundaries have to hold.

I am all over the place with this writing because I am so deeply touched by the story and saddened by it. But I also understand that a sane person would not have done what he has done. I also believe that if given a chance, he would have chosen differently. But life is not a game, there are no save or reload points. It is easy for someone who is not in his situation to judge, and I am not saying that it is not his fault. It was his fault but I also understand that when we are so overwhelmed, it is easy to lose ourselves.

That’s why it is important, so very important, to be emphatic, to be vigilant to watch over your loved ones and friends, to be there when they are down and to hold their hands when they need help. We truly never know when one of them or even us would lose footing on this earth. Be less critical, embrace and be genuinely concerned towards people. And for ourselves, remember that it is so easy to lose yourself, so please always reach out early before it gets too late.

In loving memory of Shanann, Bella and Celeste Watts

An uplifting account with Murphy’s Law

Just wanna pen down the thoughts that ran through my head, and the emotions that accompanied them this afternoon, so that it can seek to be a good reminder to myself in the near future, and hopefully, it would be able to encourage others who may be dealing with a similar situation.

“Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.”

It is easy to encourage others when you are not the one in a situation. But here I am, in one such situation. I decided not to waste this experience or the thoughts and emotions, so the best way to capture them is through this post.

Thankfully, whatever that I am experiencing is in the area of work. Having said that, I take a lot pride in my work and put in a lot of effort into them. Sometimes, bending towards the unhealthy side of it, eg. replying email on the wee hours of the morning.

The point is not to tell you how hardworking I am. Rather it is to show you that, even though whatever that I am going through has to do with work, it means a lot to me too.

Briefly, the issues that brought me to feel like I am stuck in Murphy’s Law can be summed up in the points below:

  1. Almost at the end point of a major win (amicable closure), only to have a rep share that their group decided to take another stance
  2. Almost at the point of signing a deal based on terms agreed prior (with a prospect that we have been following up for quite a while) but due to unfortunate event, ie. Covid19, a re-negotiation was requested
  3. Due to Covid-19, a lot of operational issues were affected, as works were delayed due to the phased restart

It is frustrating and disappointing and these emotions are totally understandable. All the team’s hard work stood at the precipice of “failure”.

As I was driving back this evening, I reminded myself the following and I felt better immediately:

  • Is the situation I am in within my control or influence?
    I have to be honest here. Situations are not always a result of our choices. When it is not within our control, there is basically nothing much we can do to change it significantly. However, if we can still influence it, that would be helpful. If we can’t, then it is usually futile to be too bogged down emotionally and mentally by it. We should move on to the next few steps.
  • Adjust my expectations
    I should not expect perfections, despite one’s meticulous and thorough considerations. Expectations are useful guides towards an ideal outcome but it should never be the determinant of success.
  • Take stock of the situation
    It is important to review the new situation and honestly highlight the areas that are problematic. It is also equally important to look for areas that may still be favourable, so that we can pivot and build from them.
  • Look for viable alternatives
    As with all sound management techniques, it is never about running a perfect machine. The machine will never be perfect but we have to go through rounds and rounds of improvement to perfect it. Thus, in such situations, we have to take a step back, having identified key areas of problems and areas that are favourable, and proactively and creatively find new strategies to overcome the current situation.
  • Be prepared to manage the worst
    Despite our best efforts, sometimes things just do not work out the way it should or how we hoped for. And even then, we should not be defeated because, with all honesty and efforts, we did what we could. It is what it is. We just have to manage the outcomes as best as we can, and continue to give our best.

At the end of the day, I reminded myself that we did all that we could previously, and things will not always be smooth. We should embrace challenges because there is no ways around it, just like the world or even ourselves will never perfect.

We cannot and should allow ourselves to be defeated because in doing so, we are disabling ourselves, not giving ourselves a chance to change the course out of the situation, thus, allowing a self-prophecy to play out – failure.