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The Little but BIG Things In Life – Appreciation List

  1. THANK YOU for giving me the strength to be alone and be okay with that. To find and fall in love with who I am, to be my own self in a world that can sometimes feel like it’s tearing you apart.
  2. THANK YOU mum for being there for me, always. For always having the most beautiful smile in the world. Mum, I want you to know that when you’re happy, the world lights up and there is nothing but happiness in this world.
  3. THANK YOU dad for being the biggest and most incredible role model that any son could have ever hoped for. Dad, I want you to know that you are my inspiration in this world, your strength and fortitude, bravery and persistence to make a better life for you and your family has taught me everything I know about what it means to raise a family; no doubt this will be passed on to many generations to come.
  4. THANK YOU Michael, my older brother. You are the smartest person I know, most of the time. You give advice that is often sound and responsible and has always kept me on the right path in life. You’re the first person I go to when I seek guidance, without you, my life would not have the structure, the building blocks it does today and I can only hope that I continue to listen and take in your knowledge.
  5. THANK YOU Ken, my youngest brother. You have taught me that everyone is on a different path to success, that there is not one but an infinite number of ways that one can reach success. I know us older brothers sometimes can seem to have expectations that are not always easy to achieve; you shouldn’t have to live up to them because you are on your own path in life and I realise that now. Just know that we have always wanted the best for you and are here to support any decision you make.
  6. THANK YOU Jasie, my dear sister in Law. Far more than anyone else in the world, you have taught me to welcome others with the biggest open arms. Our family is incredibly lucky to have and welcome you into our home. I thank you so much for your patience and acceptance of who we are. I know that we are not always perfect, myself especially but know that we will always be here for you and the little ones.
  7. THANK YOU little Jasmine and Alicia, oh my two little beautiful nieces! You two are an absolute bundle of joy! The hardest question I’ve had to answer since moving abroad was what will I miss the most about home and the answer is not what, but who and it’s you two. It saddens me greatly that I am not there to see you grow up, running around the family house chasing each others tails. I hope that you will remember your old uncle Jason, known for his bravery to chase his dreams, to jump into the unknown and explore the wild corners of the world. I promise to bring you wild gifts and stories from distant lands, even dragons if he ever comes across one!
  8. THANK YOU so very much, my best friend. You taught me the true meaning of what that meant and it only took two decades to meet you; but oh my am I glad we finally did! You’re a big part of my life and a big reason why I can stand tall and not be afraid. I’ve always got your back and you’ve got mine, a great day? Tell me about it while I cheer you on, a really bad day? I’ll be here to listen! And ofcourse by the end have you smiling away 🙂 stay strong, keep being you because you are awesome!
  9. THANK YOU teddy Beary for being there from the start. For being the light in the darkness, for fighting off the monsters under the bed and being the comfort I needed when I was young, scared and weak; so that now I have become none other than the protector.
  10. THANK YOU for the sun and warmth that comes each but not every day. It reminds me that life is not all sunshine and blue skies, but instead it’s how you overcome the grey to see the light of another day.
  11. THANK YOU for my good health! I know I don’t always appreciate it as much as I should, but I know my physical body is strong and in good health, that it can take me to places and move mountains at my call.
  12. THANK YOU to those of you who keep in touch even when I am so far away, even when it’s been so long since we last spoke. The little things such as “how are you” keep me going knowing people out there do care about me just as I do for them.
  13. THANK YOU for my absolute LOVE to bring people together. I find the most happiness when I am connecting people, when I am bridging the gap between you and me, between you and him and between him and her. This is because I truly believe in the power of the mutual connections that we give each other, it is one of the few things that really matter on our short time on this Earth. This love to bring people together has made me feel loved by many, has helped me build real heart filled relationships with those around me and simply has helped me become so content with the life I have been given. If there is ever a goal in life I cherish more than anything, it is that I continue to pass on the bright light that I have been given by you and for that I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
  14. THANK YOU to all those who post recipes online whether that’s on my favourite Subtle Asian Cooking page, blogs or websites. They give a big newbie like me hope to cook things that I never thought I could of, to enjoy the food i make and most importantly to know what’s going into everything i make and eat.
  15. THANK YOU to the world wide web! How crazy does it sound to know that was a time when the world wasn’t even near as connected as it is today. Not only are we more connected to each other socially but more importantly, connected by information. This is to ensure I never take for granted how easy it is for me to satisfy my thirst for knowledge, more open to me than 99.999% of humans ever been in the past.
  16. THANK YOU to the sound of music. You move me. You have always moved my body and heart, made me feel emotions that I could not describe but only feel. Music really is the universal language that connects us all, vibrating strings is what we are made of and vibrating strings is what we are all changed by. I am glad that we have ears to listen, hearts to feel and our bodies to move along with it.
  17. THANK YOU to those who choose to smile. I often get caught up in the movements of the day to notice that I haven’t stopped to enjoy the moment, the life each day that I have been given. But you, stranger, with your smile remind me. You remind me of the good that is in the world, to not get sucked up in the pattern, the mindless moving. You remind me to smile back and give a smile once again to another stranger.
  18. THANK YOU for listening. To those who listen with their hearts to you and mean nothing but the best for you. I know who you are because I know how you have made me feel, absolutely and undoubtedly supported through the ups and downs of my life. Without you I would be an empty shell, cast out into the ocean with no one to pick me up and listen to my tune. We all need heroes in our life, we all need that wind beneath our wings that allows us to fly and soar above the clouds; so I hope you know that it is you who has made it all possible.
  19. THANK YOU to my outbound friends. Those of you who are eagerly finding adventure beyond the horizons of what you see and crossing borders to places you’d never thought you’d find yourself. It is you I seek out most because when I see you doing this; I want to join you. Often I will and I do, the stories we share with one another are unforgettable and the bonds we make are unbreakable because one of the things I do know is that friends who travel together, stay together.
  20. THANK YOU, my mentors in life. I see mentors in so many people that I meet, so naturally I have many mentors both personally and professionally. I think it’s important to remind ourselves that there is something to learn from anybody and it is with this thought that has allowed me grow into the person that I am today, a combination of the many whom I’ve met and looked up to before.
  21. THANK YOU for giving me the chance to truly be proud of the work I do, of the projects that come to life in front of my eyes. Not often enough do I pause to remember that I and with the help of many others, change the shape of the landscapes we design. That we design and build things on this Earth that will stay for lifetimes past; places where people come together and bring joy and love to one another! That is much to be proud of and I am thankful to remember this each and every day.
  22. THANK YOU for my forever curious and wandering mind. You keep my on my toes with new questions and new discoveries each and every day. You keep track of my sensors and question the things I see, the scents that I smell, the taste that I taste, the sounds that I hear and the feeling of what It is I touch. Maybe more importantly, you make me think about the way I think and wonder about how it is to feel about the way I feel.
  23. THANK YOU for allowing me to give meaning even to the most mundane of things. Today I found great meaning in even the letters of the Alphabet. The T for Tau for example, used as a symbol for life and resurrection in ancient times was also used by the Greeks to symbolise death. Soon after, in biblical times it connected to the cross of Jesus. I realised that even the most simplest of things we take for granted weave across the history of time and space. There is meaning all around us, it is only for us to open our eyes and see. So beautiful.
  24. THANK YOU for the high life energy. One of the most profound things I have learnt about myself over the years is what makes me want to move. In moving I mean to excitedly jump for joy, to enthusiastically wave my hands up in the air and to sing on top of my lungs. It made me realise that it’s not something you’re born into, but it’s something that can be found and the secret is simple, to do something you love. When I do something I love, the energy I put into it feels like my all plus an extra battery pack to top it off. So, I think you for helping me find my high life energy.
  25. THANK YOU for my smile. I never knew the power of a smile until others made me smile with theirs. It’s contagious! Often, people say that I am that person who is always smiling, I’d like to think it’s because of the storyteller in my mind. The vivid imagination that is weaved by the subjects that it finds in everything. But also, I smile because I know it can make you smile too, it can brighten up somebody’s day even for a little moment so I think you for giving me the big bright smile I have (and the wrinkles that come with it!). P.S. that’s why the sunflower is my favourite flower, it makes people smile just by looking at those beautiful golden petals.
  26. THANK YOU for the music community during these times of incredible isolation (2020). Whilst we are more isolated than ever, the strength of communities like these to shift onto the virtual world has been amazing giving a sense of unity, support and love from afar. DQ 1 @ home is a great example of this, uniting the community through Zoom chat where we can all see each other and communicate over chat whilst we enjoy an event that would have been in person. There have been many more great examples of this with individual artists hosting live streams where fans can come together for the love of something common. This sense of community gives me a sense of hope that one day we will return to normal and we will be reunited once again.
  27. THANK YOU for giving me the insight of seeing the beauty in each and every person I meet. I’ve always had the natural ability to see the best in people because that is what I truly believe myself; that within each and every one of us, there is beauty, there is talent, there are achievements that cannot be compared. Too often do we doubt ourselves and see the flaws from within, so it is with this ability I am able to share this beauty with those around me.

As time goes on, this list will continue to grow, to forever be a reminder of how much good there is in this world and to that, I THANK YOU for being the biggest and most important part of it ❤ Love, Jason.

Epiphany

I want you to know how much I appreciate you and how much you are loved. So here are 50 things I love about you…(and in no particular order).

  1. I love that you love me.
  2. I love that you learned how to cycle so that we could cycle together everywhere.
  3. I love that you are so in tune with your musical side.
  4. I love that we get to spend the most important times together.
  5. I love that you let me plan and take you to new places.
  6. I love that you are super happy and energetic when you’re drunk, just like I am.
  7. I love that you remind me to call my mum all the time.
  8. I love that you always know the best presents to get me.
  9. I love that you and I cook and eat everything together.
  10. I love that you always care about my health and safety wherever I am.
  11. I love that even when I joke about having six kids with me, you’re okay with that.
  12. I love that you know the real value of things and take good care of old things for a long time.
  13. I love that you talk to your mum and dad everyday. It shows how much you care about those you love.
  14. I love that bring me back down to earth when I’m too far in the clouds, but also let me pursue realistic dreams.
  15. I love that you laugh at all my lame jokes, that I’m not the only one laughing at them anymore.
  16. I love how you taught me how to sing and dance to “I’m a little teacup” in Chinese.
  17. I love that you put up with the historian in me.
  18. I love that we are both strong, that we both carry our own weight and sometimes you can even carry mine.
  19. I love that you love the outdoors as much as I do.
  20. I love that you enjoy long walks, like our really really really long walks.
  21. I love that you are always so switched on, that you always know what to do even when my mind is in zombie mode.
  22. I love that you are such a kid sometimes, that we can both be kids around each other.
  23. I love making our little positive habits that we’ve made for each other, like keeping snacks out of the house and reading before bed.
  24. I love that you only want the very best of the best so that it can last forever.
  25. I love that you always remember the million things I forget about every single day.
  26. I love that you always save me the last and best slice of food.
  27. I love that you want to do more and more hobbies together.
  28. I love that you are willing to give up a lot to be with me.
  29. I love when you jump around and laugh and smile and are really cute when you’re happy.
  30. I love when you show me that you’re a flower.
  31. I love that you brought Monkey Jay into my life.
  32. I love that you are so huggy and cuddly all the time.
  33. I love that you have lots of eye brows when I wake up to see you.
  34. I love that you put up with my gaming habits and even game with me too!
  35. I love that you have achieved so many things in your life so far.
  36. I love that you love and get along so well with my childhood teddy bear, Beary.
  37. I love that we hold hands to bed each and every night.
  38. I love that you are shorter than me.
  39. I love that you think everything is funny.
  40. I love that you like to live life within your means just like I do and know how to appreciate all that we already have.
  41. I love that you are so focussed on your career.
  42. I love that you get along so well with my family.
  43. I love that you grew up with good morals and beliefs.
  44. I love that we both want the same things for our future family, kids and home.
  45. I love that you’re a really understanding and patient person when it comes to everything.
  46. I love that you teach me how to be a romantic like you.
  47. I love that you will take on challenges and things that you’re scared of because you trust that I’ll take care of you if anything happens.
  48. I love that I’m hot and you’re cool in bed so that we stay warm each night.
  49. I love that you love animals so much, especially every time you see a dog or cat and scream.
  50. And last but not least, I love you just because my heart tell me to.

I hope you know how much I love you, more and more each and every day. Next time I’ll aim for a hundred more 🙂

An Appetite for Risk

The appetite for risk is an incredibly powerful topic not only in the world of business but also in our personal lives. Over the years I have learned that our appetite for risk varies so incredibly much from person to person, from experience to experience, but like all businesses, without the right balance of risk and reward management we too can fail to thrive to become the best that we can be or worse off become left behind in an ever changing world.

“The level of risk that an organization is prepared to accept in pursuit of its objectives, before action is deemed necessary to reduce the risk”

Wikipedia

It’s not our fault that our appetite for risk is where it is at. A large portion of it stems from our past experiences. A child who is yelled at for speaking his truth may choose to keep his thoughts to himself the next time round. Conversely, an adult who risks driving a bit too fast to save a few minutes in life may actually take a life instead. Risk, like many things is what it is to it’s viewer.

So, is there a “right” way to approach risk? Is there a better way then just trusting our instincts from our incredibly varied and unpredictable past experiences? I say there is.

Like any great organisation that understand themselves and their objectives well, we too have to understand our ourselves and what we hope to achieve. Only by having our objectives in mind can we assess the risk we are willing to take to achieve it, that much is obvious. We know that risk is a daily action, we take risks every single day of our lives, but the real important risks we take are those with long lasting effects on who we are, the path we take, the wellbeing we add to ourselves. This is one of the things we’re not good at, we too often take risks as they spring out into our lives as if to surprise us that they were ever there. Imagine an organisation tackling risks only as they appeared and never as they predicted; oh the stress! So then, why is it that we do the same in our lives?

So firstly appetite for risk is knowing why it is worth to take the risk even when the risk has yet to appear in your life.

What we also don’t do well is seeing our risk appetite as a polarisation effect. That we “know” that a result of this risk or that, we will or will not do this. Most of us know that a polarisation of any belief is not good. To keep an open mind is the introduction of any critical thought, of empathy with another. So like so, ones risk appetite shall never be set in stone. We must understand the guard rails in which we must operate within. It is often fear/ fear of failure that drives the polarisation of why we should not take a risk and my one admiration of fear is that it is incredibly convincing, that fear’s grip makes you easily believe that what it says is true, forcing away all other beliefs that might say otherwise.

So secondly, as our world changes ever so fast, our appetite for risk must also change with it.

The last point I’d like to make is the understanding of how risk affects and is affected by our internal and external environment. With any risk we take, we must take into account the full range of benefits and consequences and not just pick those that support your own argument. This is incredibly important because too often do we refuse to accept the existence of one or the other when making decisions. The textbook definition of these considerations include; financial, health, recreational, ethical, social and information. I’ll leave it to you to think about these and where you might do better to think about.

The appetite for risk is complex because we as humans are inherently complex. We all have our views and beliefs on what levels of risk are acceptable to us; too often do we express those views to others without the full consideration of our own views. Is there a right way to approach risk? no, not really, but there often is a more better way than you may think.

Thanks for reading. What is your risk appetite?

Wishing you all the best, Jason.

Feature image – Moving to London, a risk I chose to take even against all odds and logic at the time but has defined much of who I am and what I know to this day. Taken on the 17th of January 2019.

The Greatest

“Use your position as leverage for the positive change you want to see. Aim to be the greatest not for yourself, but for all those who need you to be; and for all those who never had the opportunity”

JayysNotes

Personal Context – This quote came about as the year 2020 closes, a year where a large bit of my free time was taken up by activities relating to the chairing of the young professionals committee at my company. Looking back, there were many a great achievements, mistakes and hurdles that I had to overcome but it has to be one of the most eye opening things I’d ever done. Being in a position of respective power allowed me to push agenda’s which really made a difference, but more importantly, it allowed for conversations with people and organisations in which I would never have made bringing me up through the company’s structure and back down.

For 2021, I was voted in to become YP chair of an even more prominent organisation, the Institute of Engineering & Technology. So it makes me think, how far can I take this? How far can I use my title, my position to drive the values and beliefs that I truly believe in that with positively change the lives of others?

5 Years Ago

5 years ago we all were well met.

Many of us have become incredibly great friends of one another in the time between. Many others have found ourselves spread out across the world on different soils in which they’ve found opportunities to do what you love.

Wherever we are in our lives right now, I hope that you are all healthy and well and are being the amazing version of you that we met here.

Let us reunite and tell stories of our journeys soon again!

Thanks for being a positive part of my life, always here to catch up ♥️

Becoming a Better Conversationalist

GOALS – The most amazing thing about conversations with people are those in which you are walking away feeling engaged and inspired, when you feel like you have made a real connection and or are feeling perfectly understood.

  1. Don’t multitask – Be present, be in THAT moment. Don’t be half in and half out of it.
  2. Don’t pontificate – Enter every conversation assuming that there is something to learn. Set aside all of your personal opinions and beliefs. Everyone is an expert at something
  3. Use open ended questions – Who, what, when, where, what are the words to use!
  4. Go with the flow – questions and ideas will come into mind in the middle of a conversation but be careful not to hold onto them in your mind as this will stop your listening, let those questions and ideas come and go.
  5. If you don’t know, then say that you don’t know.
  6. Don’t equate your experience with theirs – It is NEVER the same. All experiences are individual and more importantly it is not about you. Conversations are not a promotional opportunity.
  7. Try not to repeat yourself – It is really condescending.
  8. Stay out of the weeds – People don’t care about the little details (years, dates, names etc). They care about you, what you are like and what you have in common.
  9. LISTEN – we’d all rather talk than listen, but when we talk, we don’t learn. Steven Covey said that most people don’t listen to understand, we listen with the intent to reply.
  10. Be prepared to be amazed.

Thanks for reading, keep learning! Jason ❤

Feature image – One of the last great team outings with my old team back in Sydney before I left for London, as always, we had a great time out! Taken on the 8th of October 2018.

Introduction to Philosophy – Personal Summary Notes

These are my personal notes taken to help understand the content behind philosophical questions in our world.


Week 1

What is philosophy?

  • “The study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence, especially when considered as an academic discipline.”
  • Is it an activity, a way of working out what is the right way to to think about things.
  • The question “why” is used a lot to justify the ways of thinking
  • Philosophy is challenging because it takes on what we think we know and are comfortable with or take for granted.
  • Philosophical questioning does not always have to be big and bold, it can be be about mundane topics and arise anywhere. the important thing is to understand how important it is to think about one over another.

The activity

  • A valid argument is one in which the truth of its conclusion follows from the truth of its premises

Travel and Work

I have a vision for the world.

A world in which all professionals and ordinary alike can travel and work together from all around the world to achieve a greater purpose and fulfillment in life.

The current shift in the world is allowing that more than ever. It’s hard to see that now, as the world stumbles to find it’s feet and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

But in these changing times, we are challenged to see opportunity instead of suffering. The opportunity for the world to do better, to learn from our past mistakes and our past inability to take the action that was needed. I don’t just speak of the ever-increasing risk of pandemics, but also other global challenges we all face; those of climate change, growing inequality, social and racial injustice, and the continued loss of biodiversity just to name a few.

The amazing thing is that we are all capable and willing hands, we all seek to contribute to solving these great challenges of our generation. The real challenge is finding exactly where that purpose and sense of achievement can be found for each and every one of us and I believe that can be found by broadening our horizons outside of not only what we know but also whom we know.

Feature image – On a warm and cool day, graduations would be taking place in a few hours time. Taken on the 20th of January 2020.

Recording the Journey – Ask Why

The Golden Circle at it’s core teaches us to ask the question of why we do what we do in the world of business and life and the fact that the two are becoming ever less separated from one other. If we can start with the why, the purpose of your goals, your ideals and beliefs will be something that is engraved into the how and what it is that you do.

Those of whom believe in what you believe will see this. Those of whom who wish to achieve a similar goal, who wish to see a similar ideal succeed in a world where it does not yet will join you in the great cause.

This generation is at the greatest crossroad in human kind. We are stuck in between the way we have always done things and the modern world where anything and everything has been enabled and opened up for us. For once people truly have access to global information and opportunities and with this we each seek for more purpose than ever.

The great challenge of our generation will not be to find what our purpose is, the challenge for our generation is creating a world where everyone has a sense of purpose. Purpose is that sense that we are part of something bigger than ourselves, that we are needed, that we have something better ahead to work for. Purpose is what creates true happiness. I truly believe these words and they’re not just mine, they’re shared by many who believe in humanity.

With this in mind, I believe it is one of the most important things in life to ask ourselves why we do what we do, why we follow the things we do, why we believe what others believe and most importantly, once we’ve found purpose within, how we can create a sense of purpose for others.

Feature image – Awoken by my thoughts early in the morning as often happens, I leap to my desk to brainstorm ideas and put my thoughts on paper. Taken on the 7th of June 2020.