It may be a dream afraid of waking up, or it may be a dream coming to realization in the next morning.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The End

Like every good thing, this blog also has to come to an end. I don't want to be like one of those bloggers who leave their blogs hanging without any proper goodbye. I have found myself to be moving between states and the life has been definitely more hectic now. Then, when I finally remember to log on here, I realized that it has been quite some time since I updated an entry. This is sad.

So, I thought how about I give it a rest already. It's time. I believe it's time. Like one of those times you are finally confident that it's time to find someone and get married. You're ready. This blog used to be my platform for expression of unheard voices and it has helped me to see the world in a different way. So, you understand that it is quite difficult to make a decision to consciously leave it.

But, I have to do it. So, farewell readers. I hope one day I get to do some public writings about psychology and its related world again. Hope to see you soon.


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Introverts

My friend told me that studies (I don't know which though since he also couldn't remember which so take it with a grain of salt) have shown that Asian professionals always prioritize rapport building process before they proceed with doing their works while professionals from some European countries prefer to focus on the works first and then turn to acquaintanceship.

It's nothing to brag about, I assure you, but I believe I'm like the second one. I said that it's not something to brag about because obviously being like that in a place where being sociable at first contact is like mandatory in Malaysian professional world kind of backfires.

When I was contacted by the School about the car that we used to drive to Kuala Lumpur last week about a crack at the windshield screen in front, I was asked what happened. I assured the person that it wasn't my fault or any other patrons in the car. Then, she insisted that it's not like that and suddenly the words "come down to the office" and "insurance" came in the same sentence and I panicked. Why would I do or pay or handle something that involved insurance when it's not my fault?

So, my friends would normally do what many Malaysians do, charm their way out of it. By "charm", I mean to show your friendliness, show that you're on the person's side and to invite the person to be on your side. But I couldn't do that, I was focused on proving and arguing that I was not at fault and at the end, the person sounded intimidated. The person kept saying, "Please come down to the office," and I kept responding, "It's not my fault." with a rather persistent and sure voice.

It kinda made me feel bad because the person did try to be polite, although the person's insistence that it was my fault was a bit too much. Now, I'm grateful that the issue blew over.

What would you do if you were in my position? Would you build rapport with the person and try to be friendly your way out? Or would you turn to a "lawyer" persona and defend the hell out of yourself? I guess every attribute has its own pros and cons but maybe the context plays a role too. And this is where I'm having problems in.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


The Malaysian 13th General Election has come and gone. There is a clear detestation of a large fraction of Malaysian people who were hoping and actually expecting changes to happen in the ruling turn. There is also the group, the Government supporters obviously, who hailed in victory.

The one thing I don't understand about Malaysia is this: I believe that Malaysia is such an increasingly modernized country and Malaysians are now more educated and global. They travel more and have larger and broader outlooks. So, why, oh why, racial issues are still played by certain figures who think this is the card to deal with post-election?

"Chinese Tsunami"??

As in, only Chinese Malaysians that contributed to the election being the one with the most drastic outcomes? Then, how come non-Chinese contestants who contested in Chinese-heavy areas still won? Right now, the races are no longer an issue. I don't think there exists Malaysians who only have friends of their own race. Even my father who is a villager and doesn't travel much (in fact, he hates traveling)  has Chinese and Indian colleagues. We are now with each other and live with each other. We have learnt to be with each other and we are progressing. To use the race card is just setting your mindset backward, not forward. So, the correct issue is "Malaysians vs. certain parties" not "Chinese vs. Malays" and vice versa.

I tried so hard to be one of those bloggers with neutral entries when it comes to politics, but the level of ridiculousness of this issue is just so high it's hard for me to ignore. I HAVE to raise this criticism because I don't want Malaysians to have an outdated mentality but to focus on issues that are actually relevant to our modern societies.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Adultery in Islam

The one thing unique about Islam is that even its punishments are harsh and "scary", it is actually very difficult to judge that a person has committed an offence. Like the world always questions Islamic punishment to cut off a wrist off the hand after a person commits theft, but the enactment of the punishment will only happen after the evidence that he steals without any good reason is presented satisfactorily. If the thief is found to be among the poor, or that if the amount stolen is "harmless", if the object stolen is not guarded well, etc. then the cutting hand off could not be conducted.

So, the principle is the judgment that he or she may not be guilty is always stronger than the judgment that he or she is guilty. Whatever doubt that arises in the criminal processes will always triumph over the conviction that the person has committed a crime.

This is the same with proving that someone has committed adultery. The current Malaysian political world has saddened me with the plethora of sex videos that many opposition party leaders have been accused of. Proving adultery is not easy in Islam. There are only two ways in proving adultery: Confession and eyewitness testimony from four reliable sane reasonable men who actually have seen that a penis is entering a vagina. Now I'm not here to talk about adultery, I'd like to talk about the second way to prove adultery through eyewitness testimony.

What does it mean by reliable witnesses? "Reliable" means that the person is known to be trustworthy and not a lying liar. In addition, witnesses should be human, so videos or any related kind should NOT be admissible as evidence. This is the same for DNA testing. If accusation of adultery has been made but confession nor testimony from four reliable sane men cannot be produced, than the person would be committing Qazaf, or untruthful accusation of adultery and this is an actual offence in Islam subject to lashes as the punishment and the person's testimony is never ever admissible anymore in the future.

So, even when we're in a seemingly harmless trivial gossiping session, to say this for fun, "Hey, I think A is sleeping with B..." is NOT permissible is Islam and once you said that and you fail to produce four witnesses, then you're committing qazaf and you should be punished.

You have to be reminded that even if the person DOES commit adultery, as emphasized above, the judgment that he or she may not be guilty is always stronger than the judgment that he or she is guilty.

So, what is Qazaf?

1) When a person or a blogger accuses a leader to commit adultery and claims to have the video.

2) When a person or a blogger accuses a leader to commit adultery and claims to have the video but the video will only be released in stages.

2) When a person or a blogger accuses a leader to commit adultery and claims to have the video but only releases the stills of the video.

3) When a person or a blogger accuses a leader to commit adultery and claims to have the DNA of the adulterer.

4) Pretty much every accusation of adultery that happens in the Malaysian blogosphere right now.

Qazaf is a clear offence in Islam and the punishment is specific and heavy. Unlike adultery and other offences, it's easy to judge a qazaf because it's an easy offence to commit.

Aren't they scared?

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


So, for those who have been reading my blog or even taking a peek at what this blog is about, you'd not likely to think of myself as a politician blogger. And even in fact that this post sound political, with it being about the Malaysian General Election and all, I will try my hardest not to sound politic-y.

There is one regret about me studying in IIUM: That I did not have a chance to undertake Political Psychology as one of my elective subjects. When I was doing my Bachelor, I was known by my apathetic feelings towards politics and my knowledge about it was borderline zero. But now, growing up (like I haven't grown up already), I realize that politics is an inadvertent part of human life. No matter how on-the-fence or uninvolved you are, you'll sooner or later realize that who wins the seats in the parliament will very much affect your life.

Even if I'm leaning on a particular party, I realize that being an academic and/or a professional, it is always important to hear from both sides. This is, in my humble opinion, the one issue that Malaysians have, that they have the tendency to only listen to the side that they are supporting. This is confirmation bias in action. Confirmation bias is when you tend to only seek sources that give you information that confirm or support what you already believe. Especially when the media in Malaysia has an obvious leaning towards a certain political party, confirmation bias is unavoidable. When you look at what the news say on TV or in the newspaper, you only find that what you believe is supported, thus you most likely think that it's true, being that media is portrayed as an authority for truth-seekers.

If you finally have the light to decide to make the right decision this election, listen to both sides of the party you support AND the party you don't. As an educated modern member of the society, you'll find yourself analysing and comparing and contrasting what each say. Doing this, you'll find yourself closer to who you should vote for, as you believe now that it is the right decision.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


I just read that Heath Ledger, the legend whose amazing work in The Dark Knight had was praised by critics, had battled depression in his life. Well, I knew that he had drugs problem which is usually a symptom of a deeper psychological issue within an individual's soul, but I had no idea that he was battling depression. This just further proves to me how easily it is for us to dismiss depression as a real disease.

Heath Ledger is just one of the instances of people who seem to have it all, but in reality, are actually feeling empty inside. There is like a hollow inside their heart that they are desperate to fill. Although clinical depression sounds very psychological, studies have supported the hypotheses that depression does have biological origin. But the effects and consequences of depression are very psychological, which sadly many people view as trivial.

Another depression-related psychological issue whose importance people always ignore is suicidal thought. Suicidal thought is one of the major indicators for clinical depression and because clinical depression is influenced by biological factors and runs in the family, suicidal thought can also be hypothesized to be passed on to the next generations. Suicide attempters usually have similar "modus operandi". They usually give a warning that they are going to commit suicide, the warning would at least be a simple note on top of the nightstand.

When people "warn" you about committing suicide, never ever ever ever take it lightly. Never ever ever take the warning for granted because if the person who warns actually commits suicide and succeeds, you would never forgive yourself. Equally importantly, never ever ever ignore it if you find anyone of your friends to show any symptoms of clinical depression. One of the ways to fight depression is by having a strong social support and it starts with you.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


I'm pretty sure many of you know the difference between a "house" and a "home". A house is just that, a building where we occupy. A home is much more than that. It's meaningful. It's a family. It's happiness. It's the place where all our sorrows suddenly fade away and hopes suddenly re-emerge. For this post, I would like to list down some of songs about home or finding home.

1) Carrie Underwood - Temporary Home

This song tells stories about people who are passing by places and thinking and one day they will get home. This song makes me think about what makes a place a home. Is it the sense of belongingness? Is it a home if your family is there? Different person has different definition of home.

2) Dido - Life for Rent

This life sounds like it talks about life in general, but in my own understanding, it's about a person who feels like he/she doesn't belong anywhere in life, hence the "life for rent". Sometimes no matter how hard you try making it your home, you always end up like you never actually belong to the place. 

3) Phillip Phillips - Home

This song sounds more "happy" as in it talks about a person who reassures his friend/family member/life partner that bumps in life are just temporary and if they keep together, they can build a place where they can call home. It's about support and love, which are the main ingredients in making a place a home.

4) The cast of The Wiz - Home

One piece of the lyrics: "When I think of home, I think of a place, where there's love overflowing..." I think this piece is enough to show how lovable this song is.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Inverse Placebo?

Most of the time when we read a finding report of a study, we are more likely to stumble upon the word "placebo" especially when the study involves controlled variables. Some of those report would tell you that the treatment given is more effective than the placebo, which is a term given for the treatment that looks like the real treatment, except that it's fake. Some others would tell you that the effect of the real treatment is not significantly different than the placebo. The latter is the results that most researchers would not wish to encounter, but findings are findings.

But another way to look at placebo is called "the placebo effect" in which the placebo has the similar effect with the real treatment because the mind is told that it would work the same way with the real treatment. So, it is not that the real treatment does not work, it is just that the placebo works equally wonderfully if the mind is suggested so. So, is it fair for the real treatment if this happens? I reckon not. So, what if we look at placebo differently?

Rather than conjuring up a stuff and administer it as a placebo, why not make the real treatment as the placebo? What I mean is, maybe to avoid the placebo effect, get rid of the fake treatment altogether, instead administer the real treatment and call it something else, anything else, as long as it is not the intended purpose of the thing. For example, drug A is supposed/believed to cure morning flu, so in order to see if it's really working, gather up a group of sample who suffer from morning flu, and administer them this drug, except tell them that it's for something else, like providing energy for morning activities. Then, maybe see if the drug works for what it is intended for: Reducing the symptoms of morning flu.

I tried to search the web about this but apparently the only thing I stumbled upon was something called as a "nocebo", a phenomenon where a placebo administered causes the condition to be even worse. And this article discussed about expectation that is manipulated directly in relation to the purpose of the drug - which is whether the painkiller would kill pain or not. But it's different than what I'm talking about here. What I am saying is that, redirect the focus of the drug's use from the intended purpose altogether to the belief that is totally irrelevant.

Or maybe my googling skill is not up to par?

Friday, March 8, 2013

Vulnerability of Memory

First, watch this video,

Although I think this is made by Jimmy Kimmel for entertainment, it shows us how vulnerable memory is. With a little push and manipulation, you can have a totally new memory of things that you thought happened, but actually didn't.

In the video, Jimmy set up a "polygraph" by which if the kid in the video was caught lying, the machine would detect it and give an alert. But the twist was, the kid might not even lie, and the machine might still give an alert just to see the effect the alert had on the kid's statement. After several alerts given by the machine, the kid started to say anything that he thought was true, because "truth" as gradually defined throughout the session was if and when the machine did not give the alert. So, Jimmy would ask a question, and the kid answered, the machine gave an alert, then the kid knew/thought that he was lying so he changed his statement.

So, what does this mean? When applied into the context of forensic psychology, how reliable is eyewitness testimony in giving statements about a particular crime that happens? How do you know if what is reported is what actually happens? How do you know if the report is based on the personal interpretation from the limited angle of the witness' experience? Or even worse, how can you be sure that the memory is not a made up memory at all?

This phenomenon should be studied well because it gives impact on how investigation can be done when it comes to collecting evidence from eyewitnesses. This is why, in Islam, the number and conditions of eyewitnesses are important to determine the truthfulness and reliability of the account reported. I think there are a lot that are still in need of being uncovered by researchers of the field.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Time and Psychology

I read an interesting piece about even something as seemingly fixed and constant like time can be altered by our own perception. One interesting study was carried out to see the alteration of perception of time. The summary of the study can be read here. In the study, one group of participants were asked to rate the time taken to plunge off a big device, then watch other people do that and rate the time taken for the other people to get to the lower point. The time rated for self-experience was 36% longer, which showed that brain perceives time to be slower when we are undergoing an adrenaline-invoking experiences.

Another way the brain alters the perception of time is called as Chronostasis. The study can be obtained here. It is when you watch the second hand of an analogue watch, it is like it makes its first movement in our observation and then it seems to take a longer time to make a second movement to the next second. I don't really understand the mechanics of the study well, but the explanation is like this: Time appears to be extended a little upon a saccade. A saccade is a quick eye movement. When we observe the first movement of the second hand, and our eye experiences a saccade, the second movement of the second hand seems to take longer in time. Ahh, too many "seconds" and :movements".

There are various other studies that show how our brain can achieve remarkable feats by altering our perception of time. And this is obviously a new and intriguing subject for me. I found this book titled, "The Time Paradox", while browsing the Internet and I think I will make this the to-read-next book. It seems interesting.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Organized Religions

I, for one, like to write an entry of an issue that I might have written about before. But that's only because when you're trying to spread good messages to the world, sometimes it takes repetitions for the messages to kick in and have an influence. So, for this entry, I'd like to talk again about how some people would like to question the choices of some others to follow a religion.

I am writing this entry especially because I remember reading an article of a man who killed himself because of the death of his cat. I am not writing to judge the action of the man, but I'm writing to emphasize on the fact that we humans need something to hold on to in order to survive. The things that we hold on to can be physical like a pet, a career, a family, etc. and it can be spiritual too like the idea of God and the thought that God is protecting us, etc. The difference between the two that I observe is that the latter is more permanent, hence more effective to stabilize our condition as a fragile human being. When you hold on to a physical object like a cat as mentioned in the article, and the object is gone from your life forever, that is when your life starts to unravel.

So, the idea of God and the belief that God exists gives a more permanent solution to prevent things like this happening again, because it's in the mind and things in the minds tend to last longer. And then, those skeptics ask, "OK, believe in God then, but do you need organized religions?"

One of he benefit of religions is that it gives the organization of believing in God and having faith. Just imagine someone who just has the idea of God but refuse to follow any kind of organized religion, don't you think his belief is loose? When he has the idea of God but doesn't follow a certain religion, then he starts to follow morality as defined by humans which can be biased, limited, and flawed.

But I am certainly not questioning or judging anyone who refuses to follow a religion, because I still believe that it's an individual choice. But I also believe that those who invite to question organized religions and claim that they are outdated practice and should be abandoned by the modern people are those who just can't find a fight that is worthy their life. They need to find an issue that should not have been an issue. Religions bring more benefits than harm and I think we need to acknowledge that.

Please don't tell me that religions are the cause of world terrorism. Come on, we are all educated enough not to be that simplistic. Terrorism and violence are caused by all sorts of things. We have terrorism whose criminals declare to be working in the name of religions, crime of passion that is done in the name of love, crimes that are driven by revengeful feelings, racially motivated crimes, and many more. But we certainly do not blame love when someone kills another because of it, do we?

Friday, February 8, 2013


What is infatuation? I have posted an entry regarding infatuation and I viewed rather negatively. But, I'd like to retract what I said and add one of the most important thing about infatuation - it's not just about physical infatuation. Sometimes we see kids as young as 5 years old start to have a crush on a classmate and sometimes it's the older people who experience being infatuated with someone. But whoever it is who feels it, infatuation is normal.

I'm not writing this entry to assert to you that it's normal. Of course it's normal, it's part of being human. But I'd like to get back to the point that even kids as young as 5 years old already have the experience of being infatuated. Kids are still innocent little beings even in this modern world where information about sexual relationship is shoved down our throat at every corner of our environment. This is only my opinion, but I don't think when a 5-year-old kid is infatuated with someone, his or her main focus of being infatuated is to satisfy a physical attraction. When I asked a young kid about his crush on his classmate, he told me rather generally that he likes her and he likes spending time with her. He said that he likes her smile and that her presence brightens up his life.

So, perhaps the definition of infatuation should be widened than a physical attraction towards someone. I believe that it's the beginning stage of love. Yes, we need to also be attracted to that person, but infatuation is more like wanting the companionship of the person, wanting the connection, physically and emotionally. And love is just an advanced version of it.

I used to be scared whenever I started to have a "crush" on someone in my past, mostly because of the narrow definition that I used to have. But now, although it's been a long time since I had been infatuated with a person, I think it's a wonderful experience and it's a proof that you have a heart

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Just Some Quotes

In this entry, I just would like to present to you some of the random quotes that I find achingly true:

"A beautiful thing is never perfect."

"Disappoint anyone, hell disappoint everyone, but don't ever disappoint yourself..."

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

"Nobody can tell you there is only one song worth singing..."

"The reward for conformity is that everybody likes you except yourself."

"Just because you believe in something doesn't make it true..."

That's it for now. Anyways, these quotes might or might not have its original sayer, I don't put them because I only know some, and it looks messed up if I only state some of the original sayers, so I leave them all. But if you are interested, go here.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Grass Is Always Greener On The Other Side

Batman said in one of those Dark Knight films that I don't watch, "You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become a villain..." Let me change that a bit, "You either quit a job happily, or you work long enough to see yourself hate the job that you used to love..."

Alright, I admit, that doesn't really make sense. Of course when you find something that you love, you're more likely to find yourself to also love it in the next few years, possibly until you retire. 

I love studying, while people can't wait to get into the working environment, I love attending classes and call myself a student. But lately I have this feeling as if the usual working environment suddenly looks more appealing than what I'm doing now. But I also remembered a few years back when I worked at a call center, I couldn't wait to quit the job and do my masters. So, what happens? Why am I always bored with my current livelihood? Why is it that the grass is always greener on the other side?

Then, I thought long and deep about this. I realize the answer doesn't lie on the nature of what we do, it's the quality the nature of what we do offers us. I remember when I did my bachelor and masters, I attended classes and had assignments where required me to have social interactions. I remember in my bachelor that I used to have infatuations with a few people and I had ups and downs with my friends. But now, I'm doing my PhD by research and of course all those things aren't really part of my routine anymore because all I do each day is sit in front of my laptop and think about what to do to improve my proposal/thesis. I sometimes go to an office here but the social interaction is not the same. The office mates are much older than me so we're bound to have a gap, no matter how friendly we all are, especially when there are only less than five people working in the same office.

I'm an introvert, combined with extreme shyness, so it makes it even harder to make friends, especially that this is a relatively new environment for me, living in another state and in another university. 

Rant aside, my point is, when you find something you love, try to contemplate about the qualities of the things that you love. Then, you get the idea and you could be more grateful and know how to beat the routine sickness if you remember this. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Moving Forward

Friendship is a funny thing in life. It is so because I have observed especially lately in my life that for some people, for some unfortunate people, friendships are just a phase. I mean, rather than being a fulfilling relationship in one's life, it becomes only an event at one point of life. And then, the friends just move forward, or the unfortunate people move forward pass one another.

I have seen a lot of other people who have stable friendships for as long as they live, and it's a good thing. But for the other ones, friends come and go. No matter how much "you're my best friend" that has been declared, or how many outings that have been planned and done, they are still a phase. Some of those unfortunate people might be OK with it, maybe because they could easily find friends everywhere they go. But for some other unfortunate people, they suffer through it.

I don't know, I have been asking for those unfortunate people, what makes them fall into this pit? Shyness? Introversion? Maybe if they are good people, they might be chronically shy, so it kinda thwarts the likelihood of making new friends. If they are bad people, well, then, it's because of their "badness."

But I'm talking about the unfortunate good people who experience having phased friendships. People rarely notice them, and people rarely acknowledge that what they are going through as a crisis. But they do go through this, and they do suffer through it. And I'm sure those out there who committed suicide belonged to this group of people.

So, I'd like to call out this group of people and wish them the best in life. I hope that they find what they are looking for and never ever give up in the midst of the dark tunnel. I wish they are granted the one, at least one, friend who could offer support whereever they go.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Songs to Listen to When You Are Feeling Melancholic

So, I have made an entry for songs that motivate and inspire me. This time, I would like to list down a few songs that I usually listen to when I am feeling melancholic or just blue. I consider these songs melancholic (I don't want to call them "depressing" because it sounds negative) because of the lyrics that are either cynical about the world or self, critical, and have a deep meaning in relation to how screwed up the world could be. So, here they are.

1) Gary Jules - Mad World

This is absolutely melancholic for me because it talks about how this world is like a a place that is filled with robots that exist without a purpose. We all do things that we do everyday, sometimes for just the cause of it.

2) U2 - One

OK, this song might not be totally melancholic, but it was written when the band was on the brink of breaking up. But this song brought them back together. One of the most powerful piece of lyrics of this song is, "You asked for me to enter, but then you made me crawl..."

3) John Grant - Marz

The official video of this song shows a girl who committed suicide and went to a place filled with childhood dream and desires. The official video also shows that while the desires sound good in the beginning, but it might "drown" you down at the end. This song is actually a connotation of a personal tragedy of the singer who had a past life involving drugs, messed up family situation and also suicidal thoughts.

So, here for now, three songs that I classified as melancholic. Marz has been the most melancholic for me as it deals with suicide and self-acceptance. Hope you enjoy.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Home Sweet Home

So, I went to Bangkok last Wednesday using International Express which was a 22-hour ride. Remind me not to use the train again, it was a torture. But, that's not what I want to talk about. I'd really not like for this entry to sound like a rant, but for the first time of my life, I cut a trip short just because I really couldn't adjust to the environment of the place that I was visiting.

Don't get me wrong, Bangkok is a nice city. In fact, it looks a lot like Kuala Lumpur, and I LOVE Kuala Lumpur. But when one of your missions of travelling was also to try out new foods, that's when you started to have issues. Bangkok seems to be filled with nice foods and they had a lot of street hawkers that sell many kinds of snacks, fruit cuts, and even main dishes like fried chicken and other stuffs. But too bad their halal status is almost always unknown. Whenever I was interested in a food that looked so delicious, I would just ask, "Muslim?" since they didn't understand anything I said, and I could say that 99% of the shops/restaurants/hawkers that I went to said no. On the first day I arrived, being as naive as I was, I walked around Saphan Khwai BTS station area which was filled with tasty-looking foods. After searching for almost an hour, I resorted to eating a dry garlic bread just because everything was not halal there.

I searched for the information on halal food in Bangkok and many experiencers reported that they needed to take a train to a mall that has only one halal food stall in one whole food court. I might also go to Nana BTS station and I went there once. Nana was like a little Middle Eastern, and there were a lot of halal places, but the station was quite far from my hotel. I wouldn't take a train everytime I wanted to eat.

On the second day, things became unnecessarily difficult. I was always OK with language barrier. I visited Istanbul twice before and I could say not so many people could speak in English but the trip was very enjoyable. However, in Bangkok, when you couldn't find halal food, and you couldn't communicate almost at all with the local people, my patience started to wear thin. The frustration was added by the fact that it was also quite hard to find a place to perform your prayers and the only place I could go was, of course, my hotel room.

I don't want to sound like a spoiled traveler who needs to have everything nice in his trip, but these aspects are important to me when traveling. So, because of the difficulties, I cut my trip short and from the original 5-day plan, it became 2-day. I did not care about money at all and I just want to get out of there, so I changed the flight date.

When I reached Penang, suddenly my home here is not just a home, it's a home sweet home.

Disclaimer: I'm not saying that Bangkok is a terrible city, it is actually quite nice for me. But language barrier, food barrier, and religious performance for me are things that I need to observe when traveling. However, the difficulties might be contributed by the fact that I was not familiar with the place. So, I'm sure a lot of you out there have gone to Bangkok and enjoyed it. But not for me though. This might be the first and the last time.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year's Resolution

It's a tradition - you will list down a whole new set of resolutions you would like to achieve in 2013, even if you might miss the ones for last year and the year before and the year before. I don't deny, I am one of those who set their minds to accomplish certain things in the new year, but I also don't deny that the probability that we would achieve them - 50%. Well, might be higher.

So, why would we have a new set when we have not even seen the lights for our past sets? Maybe I have written something about it, but I'll write again about it anyways. It's about intention. Turns out intentions are not so simple. Researchers have categorized intentions into goal intentions and implementation intentions. I first learned about the categories of intentions in Health Psychology class about how only some people who intend to lose weight are able to achieve their objective. The concept is this: Goal intentions are general intentions, "I want to lose weight." While, implementation intentions are specific, "I want to lose 10 pounds in 3 months."

Why specificity of our intentions are better indicators of intention achievements? It is because people are more than likely to act on their intentions when they see clearly what they have to do and pursue. When you already set the details, it's one step done, but when you're not clear about what to do, then that's what slows down the process of achieving the goals.

This highlights the importance of operationalization. I still remember how our professors in our Psychology department kept stressing on operationalizations in research but it turns out to also be a significant factor in behavior changes. Operationalizations are defining things in practical terms - it is the opposite of conceptualization. Defining hunger as the feelings of wanting food is conceptual, but defining hunger as the craving of food after 5 hours of not eating, then it's operational. Wanting to read more books is conceptual, but wanting to read at least one book per month, then it is operational.

So, set your hearts out to want to achieve new things for the betterment of your new year. But try to make it less complicated and make it clear. Make it a goal that you can see you can achieve. Well, as usual, when I'm writing a "preachy" post, it's because I need to remind myself more than I need to remind you. so, good luck to us all!