Inner Thoughts

March Oppas

15 March

My admiration towards you isn’t something that is well concealed. It is so obvious that I have been told repeatedly there are sparkles in my eyes and hearts pouring out of my head every time I talk about you. But how could I not?

Everyone needs a role model, an inspiration, an idol, a person you can look up to and depend on – especially when each day feels like a warzone or a gruesome never-ending uphill battle.

You will probably never be able to fully grasp the impact you have in my professional life. I speak highly of you cause I truly believe you deserve the compliments and I attributed a lot of my success back to you – I wouldn’t have been able to do a lot of the things I am capable today if you hadn’t decided to take me as your mentee, albeit briefly.

You are becoming an integral part of my problem-solving process – it has almost become a second nature to ask the following questions:

“What would you change in this formulation?”

What would you do to rectify the issues?”

I have encountered the question of where I foresee myself in the next “x” amount of years very frequently in the past few months and the answer to that is rather simple.

Becoming you

You embody what I perceive success is, professionally – as our resident Subject-Matter-Expert, you are so proficient at the topic that even people with longer work experience would come and discuss issues with you! And you have accomplished all these at such tender age! (for goodness sake, we are only half a decade apart but your success is astronomical compared to mine) Not only that, your previous exposures have positioned you right into the specialist-generalist territory, you have both the breadth and the depth, the best of both worlds to say the very least.

But what I find even more endearing from you aside from the successes you have had, is your generosity. You are always so accommodating and so willing to share your skills and knowledge with everyone else around you. I have met several people who are also SMEs but very reluctant to share their talent. 

On a much personal level, you possess a lot of qualities that I admire. Your grit is one of them. I remember telling you how I would never be able to put myself through your rigorous training and diet plan – you laughed and admitted that it wasn’t easy but you just pushed through, knowing what’s waiting on the other side. I have to say, your transformation is indeed amazing. You feel like an older brother sometimes and a lot of things you told me have become my day to day ‘mantras’:

  • Work is work. Don’t let it overtake your life
  • You can’t win everything. Choose your battle and stick with it
  • There is more to life than just work
  • Don’t stress over what you can’t change – focus on what you can
  • You will get there

Of course this’ just a small fraction of what’s on my mind, but then again, all those sparkles and heart eyes? I think they are rightly justified 😉

3 March & 23 March

The oppas I didn’t know I need in my life

Things escalated quickly – once strangers but now an integral part of my life. I couldn’t even recall our first encounter but the rest is history.

You two manage to achieve a lot of ‘impossible’ things in a very short period. I am not particularly proud to admit it, but this happened:

What went on in the meeting: “….We all have to relocate to Brisbane. Only the sales team will remain in Sydney…… OMG, that’s awkward, must be difficult…. Is it permanent move?…..”

What went on in my mind: “…Brisbane?? That means higher chance of accidentally meeting them….”

Yeah, you two are a distraction but I ain’t complaining 😉

It is human nature to crave for connection with other human beings, we are social creatures after all – and that is what I found with you two.

Everyone who watches you two would immediately be able to tell how much you are genuinely passionate about classical music and violin. That excitement in your voice, the sparkle in your eyes, the glee that you exude as your fingers run up and down the fingerboard. It’s crystal clear and that is what brings joy to all of us. Genuine passion is so attractive and it moves people. I am not surprised to read stories about how you two influence people to start learning a new instrument or go back to an instrument we have abandoned for an extended time.

I happened to fall into the second category – never in my entire life have I imagined that 12 years after, I am back to practising the violin, with a greater resolute and understanding no less. After I failed ABRSM exam, I have decided that I am not cut for music. Tempo and rhythm don’t come naturally to me and that made playing a struggle and removed all the joy that it should bring. But then came the two of you and although I still struggle with these to this day, they no longer stop me. Indeed, I discover ways to help myself and realize, I am not that terrible in music after all. I don’t excel in it but I am better than what I gave myself credit for 😉

You two show people that regardless of the talent you are born with, success is largely driven by the amount of honest hours of practice and perseverance. Talent may give you the head start but without a continuous, constant practice, it won’t mean much in the end.

What truly resonates with me is how much you emphasize on getting the basics right. A lot of people preach about 10000 hours principle yet choose to ignore an essential part of it – which is ensuring you got your basics down to the tee. What good is it really to spend 10000 hours or more on wrong basics after all?

One of the most prominent problems millennials face today is our love for instant gratification. We all dream of achieving of that overnight success, that immediate fame and wealth that comes with it – so much so that we forget everything good takes time, process as well as hell lot of grit and patience.

You two show us that when it comes to success, patience is also an important variable. We all get emotional when you made it to the cover of Strad because we know it was a long and arduous journey to get to where you are now. Those disapproving looks, those judging remarks, but you powered through all that and it finally pays off! 

The friendship that you foster in the past fifteen years is highly enviable too – to have each other through thick and thin as well as share all those new exciting adventures. How amazing it must have been! On a lighter but highly important note – it is such a pleasant feeling to find other people who love bubble as much as, if not more than me! 😀

Just like how you two would like to have coffee with Tchaikovsky, I would love to have bubble tea with you guys! But for now, continue doing what you are doing cause you guys are killing it! ❤


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