Kenny Talks About : Focus

Sometimes I find it hard to concentrate in the office.

There are lots of things to distract the mind. And I don’t only mean those outright distractions. Your own mind is a playground for all sorts of thoughts to play around.

I’ve always find it hard to be totally focused on a certain task or topic as I mentally wander a lot. It’s kind of a way I would look for other avenues to keep my mind busy instead of taking a task by its reins and guiding it all the way to completion.

I guess sometimes I blame it on a lack of sleep. Lack of concentration and focus could be due to being mentally tired. So, a little perking up with coffee does help. Lately I seem to require cups of coffee when I need to boost a little mental alertness.

Your mind has a mind of its own.

Does sound a little funny doesn’t it? But when you look at your conscious and subconscious mind, you find they regularly comes to conflict when it comes to focus. Consciously you may tell yourself to focus on important tasks, but there is always that little voice, your subconscious telling you how much better it is to do something more entertaining.

I usually find my focus when it comes down to the last leg, or when I’m feeling the crunch time. Burning the midnight oil or hurrying to the finishing line, that’s when I feel the rush to get something done. In a way, its good, as you have a clear goal to achieve, but bad in a way that you leave no room for mistakes.

It helps to set an advanced goal.

That means setting a point earlier than the actual time to get a task done and then rewarding yourself for having achieved that. You would actually be able to give yourself the same motivation, push and focus especially if the reward is of a great value and the extra bonus is being able to stay calm from the point of your pre-set dateline to the actual completion period.

Now, I’ve gotta end it here and get back to what I was doing before…. now what was that again?…

Kenny Talks About : Visualising for a Presentation or Proposal

Do you sometimes wonder how some people can write a proposal so effortlessly that it seems to just stream out of their heads and onto paper?

When you get down to doing it, you get distracted (see my previous note) and the more you try harder mentally to tackle the task, the more your mind fills itself up with gibberish thoughts clouding even basic words from being put onto your writings. Do you realise at that point you may not be using your visualising skill properly and that you are directly thinking about the words and phrases to use rather than the actual concept of what you are trying to present?

It the same to the type of gibberish thoughts that fills your head when you are doing a presentation. In situation like this, once tends to be searching for the right words to say rather than be focused on the concept!

Visualising is a powerful tool.

Our minds see in pictures and it even comprehends words in the form of imageries. It’s a clear message that can easily be understood and processed by your brain. We react faster to images rather than to words, simply because our mind has to "translate" those words into pictures first. With this basic understanding, it’s easy to see why people who "try too hard" has more difficulty in getting his or her thoughts through in a smooth flow.

When I am in my "zone" (usually that means crunch time or last minute preparation of proposals), I would calmly sit myself down and just use a few moments, to "see" the actuall event or flow of activities in my mind. I will literally do a actual walkthrough of the entire scene from the point of arrival, the people I would see, the main event area, "looking" for each individual event elements as if I was really there.

I complete my visualisation when I can see myself going from the beginning of the mind "walkthrough" all the way to the end (or completion). This is the "solid ground" in which I will use to work on my proposal. As I put the description in writing, my mind repeats the scene and each image is formed into words.

It really helps.

At this point it almost doesn’t matter if I get distracted in between, because I have a "pre-recording" of this flow in the form of images, I can always playback and continue my thought process.

It’s the same when you walk into a presentation. Some people mumble and rehearse by reading words or a pre-written scripts. I’d say throw that away! Instead, use pictures in your heads to think about the concept and how the event flows… do a mental walkthrough. So, when you do present, you won’t seem like memorising word for word but rather understanding what you see and repeating it to your listeners.

Interestingly enough, while writing this note, an entire mind projection of images appeared in my head, a bit like a soap-opera drama… 😉

Working with Elaine Daly

I had the pleasure of working with Elaine Daly last Friday. She was the Master of Ceremony for our event, the Glenmorangie Launch event. It was very entertaining to work with Elaine as we immediately struck it off with light humour and jokes.

Though the even proper was simple, Elaine conducted a tour of the showcase area with flair and it was easily clear to me how she is where she is. Certainly with her, charm and grace is always in abundance.

I shall be looking forward to many more opportunities to work with her. 🙂

Me doing Yoga?!!!

Trust me, I wouldn’t have believed it myself if I wasn’t talking about myself. Well, I did. Convinced by my fellow co-workers, who I had actually thought wouldn’t be the first to suggest this sort of thing, I ended up in Yogazone in Sri Hartamas. Yup, that’s the yoga chain that Angel Wong Chui Ling is the ambassador of.

I dreaded walking into the place. Nevertheless, I casually strolled in, knowing that a lot of heads were turning because of me. There I was, Kenny in my full bodily glory, standing among, 95% women staring at me and wondering whether I had stepped in by mistake thinking it was a hip restaurant. Bummer…. 🙁

Well, I stuck my gut in and went on up to the studio. As I feared, apart from me and 2 of my colleagues, the rest of the 20++ limber limbed participants were female!!!

Naturally, I slid to the back of the class. It was 1 hour of excrutiating moves, of which I had not done for at least the last 12 years! But, I stayed cool. Err… on second thought, that sounded contradictory, as it happened my very first Yoga class was “Hot Yoga”… damn… I was sweating rainwater!… Looking cool was all I could do to avoid bringing the attention of the slim ladies around me to the pool of sweat I was collecting.

*sigh*

But, you know what… I felt good. And you know why. Of all the men who could be here, despite the condition of their fitness, and were not here, I still came. It was kind of proud to say, “I may look like this now, but at least I’m doing something about it!!!”

Now, when did they say was our next session…? *nervous*

Baked a Cake!

Okay, have not been baking for quite a while since we’ve moved. So, while I was in the kitchen, I decided to throw together the most basic cake mix just to try out my new oven.

How do you do that, you ask?

Okay recipe for this is like the most basic ever!

  1. 2 cups wheat flour
  2. 1 cup sugar
  3. 1 cup milk
  4. 6 eggs
  5. 2 teaspoon vanilla flavouring
  6. 1/2 cup butter

Mix these, pour into baking tray and throw into pre-heated oven (gas mark 210). And that’s it! 40 mins later, we were all having cake.

The above was really a ‘base’. You can thrown in anything extra ie. raisins, sultanas, dates, chocolates. Or you could just leave it to the end and top up with icing or more butter.

Mmpphh.. I am thinking about the next one I’m gonna do. Just love cooking for fun.

Getting High

So, I was just browsing through some of my old pictures and I came across this one. 86th floor!!! 2 floor shy from the top floor of 88th floor of the Petronas Twin Towers.

(Mpph… I should have climbed the staircase… 😉

My ears started popping from the 40th floor, so it was a bit daunting at first to go all the way up. Changed lifts 3 times.

I was in Tower 1. Honestly, Tower 2 did look like it was out of alignment from Tower 1 at that height. 🙂

Second Round Barbecue

Yeah!!! It gets better everytime I try it.

Well, this time around I perfected the technique. Unlike the last time, I bought a packet of hickory wood chips, only for RM10.90 at ACE Hardware. I was chosing between hickory or mesquite wood chips. But, I made the right choice for the type of barbecue I was preparing. Apparently overdosing your meats with mesquite smoke may result in some bitterness, therefore it’s best to use this type of smoking base for larger barbecues and shorter periods of cooking.

So, hickory suite me just fine. I had to get the stuff smoking at first when I used it. A pretty simple task with a “smoking tray”. For lack of a proper one, a RM1 pasar malam metal tray suited me just fine. When the smoke started, it was quite strong at first but it mellowed to a nice flow after a while.

Winnie marinated a batch of honey chicken wings. Told her a few additional tips to get the flavour into the wings, ie. a bit of salt, more sugar, don’t overdose on the wings etc. I had marinated my version with 1) Cajun Spice, 2) Garam Masala, 3) Good dose of salt, 4) Pepper, and half a lemon (I saw half a lemon lying in the fridge but the next day as I was munching into the chicken, Winnie told me she was using the half lemon to absord the smell of the fridge… mppph…. Could have been the reason for the ‘extra’ flavours).

Anyway, I loved the mix! Could have held back slightly with the salt but otherwise a recipe that can beat Kenny Rogers or Nando’s anyday… hehehe…

Next round of barbi, I’m gonna marinate with a can of coke (for the honey chicken), and do a version of spicy chicken wings… mmpphh.. thinking about it, I gotta try the smoking on some real red meats!

The Gardens @ MidValley

So, once again we were doing our shopping complex rounds. This weekend we dropped by The Gardens @ MidValley. It’s not a new shopping complex on its own. Rather it’s an extension of what the existing MidValley Megamall has to offer. It’s in its own building and house a more upmarket range of brands & products.

What’s nice about these new shopping complex is that there seems to be a healthy competition among the shops to present the most unique interior design to stand out. And this makes the whole presentation very pleasing to the eye and at least an opportunity for Malaysian retail persona to bring designs to a modern, contemporary time.

Robinson’s of Singapore is also here. I must say, I am impressed by the range of products that was brought in and are new to what we already have here. More choices for things that we in the past had to go to Singapore for. So, well done.

I like the Gardens as much as I liked the Pavilion. Although it’s much smaller in size, the place has a cosy feel to it. The touches of wooden panelling and banister along the corridors are a nice touch. There seems to be quite a few things that has yet to be completed and a number of areas which are still pending repairs or adjustment, but I guess for a new complex, that is forgivable.

We only went to 3 floors of the shopping complex, but if what I read in the pamphlets about the boutique cinema, roof garden and lounges are correct, I shall be back here quite often for a taste of the good life. 🙂

Barbecue at the House!

So, we bought a new barbecue set and this is the first time in a long, long time we did barbecue at our own house. Winnie bought a red little thing, but don’t let the size fool ya. It’s actually one of the best barbecue set I’ve had to work with. I’ve used a RM4,000 barbecue set before, mind you those are feature-full but there’s a bigger mess to cleanup and its a bit fussier to set up. Well, RM89 was money well spent!

I learnt a couple of new tricks this time around.

The first is to use charcoal bricket! Yeah, it’s the perfect barbecuing agent. Smokeless and you don’t get bits flying off it as it burns. This is unlike our traditional method of using char”wood”. The ones you get for a couple of ringgit at the local shop. It’s also very easy to light up and it burns evenly. The individual pieces is easy to move around, to spread the heat around.

Secondly, instead of spreading the meats individually over the barbecue grille, use a grille clamp that hold a number of meats together. Oh, this really made my job a lot easier! With chicken wings, instead of having the tips getting caught between the grille each time I needed to turn them around, they are tucked neatly between the clamps. Turning the meats around was easy!

What I realised we didn’t have was the “smell”! Hehehe, I realise with the traditional method of the wood, you still get a bit of the charred wood smell of the barbecue. With the brickets, this was totally not the case. Next, time around, I’d do it with either hickory of mesquite wood chips….