Saturday, May 29, 2010

Book Review: 1

In the name of Allah, Most Knowledgeable.

I have this urge to write but my mind is in a state which it cannot think too critically because at the moment, I am reading quite a heavy book entitled "The Bible, the Qur'an and Science" by Maurice Bucaille. But this is not the book I will write a review about.

I will write about a book worth reading, which I have finished reading about a month ago.


Title: The Power of Healthy Thinking to Change Your Attitude and Your Life
Author: Dr Tom Mulholland (NZ TV's Attitude Doctor)
Pages: 160
Publisher: Reed Publishing (NZ) Ltd.

This book is awesome. Try and read it!

. . . okay. That is not how a book review should be written, no? Ahaha. Now, let me be a bit serious. Yes, just a bit serious.

This book is Dr. Mulholland's second book after his first popular piece Healthy Thinking: Turning Life's Lemons into Lemonade. This is not a continuation from the first book, hence it can be read as a separate piece of reading.

Ask yourself these questions: Do you often feel stressed, angry and frustrated in your daily life? If you answer "yes" or "maybe", well, this one book is my recommended piece of reading for you. Even if you answer "no", I will still recommend this for your reading collection.

Simply because:

This book was written in simple English and can be easily understood. Why people generally like gossips? Because they like to stick their noses into other people's affairs and to know other people's "stories". Yes, other people's stories are THAT interesting, that is why Dr. Mulholland wrote this book from his point of view based from his own experience in order to help his readers eliminate all the aforementioned negative emotions (and some others) simply by replacing negative thoughts with positive ones. Yes, it is the power of attitude!

To enable him doing that, Dr. Mulholland first identified 10 different types of "thinkers" in Chapter 2. These types of thinkers such as The Judge, The Fortune Teller and The Generaliser, are what caused us to think negatively. In other words, they are the "bad attitudes" (this is my own phrase. Ehehe). For each negative thinkers, Dr. Mulhollad introduced a positive thinker to replace the negative one, such as The Rationalist to replace The Distorter. Personally, it was surprising that I myself have a number of these "bad attitudes" and thanks to Dr. Mulholland, I'm trying to change them.

While reading through, Dr. Mulholland will introduce his tool to change attitude which he called the Emotional Algebra. Sounds interesting enough? It was interesting for me, though.

What is emotion? According to Dr. Mulhollad, emotion is caused by thoughts plus trigger(s). Therefore, to be able to think positively,

Thought + Trigger = Emotion,


Emotion - Trigger = Thought

Interesting, isn't it? Then, the author will show how to apply this Emotional Algebra in one's daily life by relating the equation to the identified thinkers revealed earlier. Well, there are a number of other equations (I think there two more!) but I won't give any more spoilers. Enough said.

If you think this book is interesting, then get one! Yes, I do not receive any royalty or payment for recommending this book. Simply because, I think this one is really, a good read. So yes, happy reading! :')

*monologue to myself*
Go Chouji! You need to use the Emotional Algebra to snap out of whatever negative thoughts you are having in your head at the moment. Allah does not help those who only pray without first try to help themselves, now, remember?

"O Allah! To You belong all wisdom and You are the Most Knowledgeable. Bless us with sharp mind to seek the truth and clear our chests from any difficulties to receive knowledge. Ameen."

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Kisah Cinta Pertama

Dengan nama Allah, Cintaku yang paling utama.

[Note: For this entry, I will use both Bahasa Melayu and English interchangeably.]

Baru semalam saya terbaca entri menarik seorang rakan (yang juga merupakan junior se-apartment yang selalu kami "buli". Ehehe), tentang "kisah chenta pertama" beliau [klik sini untuk baca]. It was hilarious, mind you, and made me feel like sharing my own "kisah chenta pertama".

They say, your past actions and experience made the you today. And also, a man remembers most his first love. Is it true? Well, I wouldn't say "NO" though because to a certain extent, I experientally agree.


If my mind serves me right, the first time I really fell in love was when I was in Form 3. There was this new girl who had just transferred to our school just months before PMR. Let's call her M. I believe the first thing about girls that attract most guys are their outward appearances. Beautiful eyes, fair skin, voluptuous lips - all these. Call me a weirdo but I got attracted to a girl's name before I "analyse" their physique and appearance. And M's name was somewhat peculiar to everyone's ears but having learnt Arabic myself, I thought her name was beautiful. After having seen her for the first time, I think I went head over heels for her. But unfortunately, I was too shy for my own good.

Before we started Form 4, I always dreamt to be in the same class with M. I guess I was lucky. I was in the same class with her. But goodness, I was too shy and I took one whole year to make my real move: I sent her a kad raya end of that year.

We had some Physics extra classes during year-end school break with Cikgu Marhalim because we did not finish our syllabus. I said I was shy, remember? So I always tried to avoid her. However there was once, after one of the classes, she was able to "corner" me and asked why I sent her the card. Guess what answer I gave her? Yes, a stupid excuse: "Because I had an extra card, and I somehow had your house address." I guess she saw through my answer and knew that I like her. We became friends. To think again, I think I was her first (and perhaps the only) male friend she had in school.

Tempat bertemunya "chenta pertama" :'P

The whole year of Form 5 was marvellous. We exchanged letters which we placed under each other's table. I went home late everyday and that was when I placed my letter. She came to school earliest everyday, that was when she placed hers. Every two or three days, my friends would see me grinning contentedly to myself like kerang busuk. Because I received her letter.

There was none who knew about our "friendship" but very few - her best friend and my best friend. The exchanging of letters went on for the whole year. I still remember when I confessed to her that I like her in one of the letters. She asked for confirmation whether or not I was serious and bukan main-main. I guess I was more of a coward than a wallflower back then when I took back my words and said, "Ha'ah, main-main je."

And so we finished school and led our life on different paths. I went to KMPk. She went to KMPP. Even so, we were still in touch. While in KMPk, I learnt a lot of "new things" and most of the time, I forgot to keep in touch with her. It was M who always texted and sometimes called me. I guess it meant something - in other words, she was trying to tell me something which I still couldn't understand at that time.

Having spent a year in KMPk, I realised the harsh truth about science - it requires more and more calculation skills as you dig deeper into it. Lacking talent and ability in calculation, enthusiasm alone was not able to push me forward in the field. And so I chose to enrol for TESL course (since I found that I was more able in the language field than in calculation). I told her that and she applied for the course too. I guess that should mean something, right? But being a late-bloomer I was, I was too blind to see that.

Perhaps Allah has destined me to become a teacher: I was accepted for TESL enrolment and I came to IPBA. M was not selected for the enrolment and she had to further her study in college. Out of sight, out of mind. So they said. Perhaps it's true in some ways because the number of texts between us became lesser and lesser every month. I still liked her at that time but I was just too afraid of commitment in a relationship. And I never confessed.

Titik permulaan baru :'P

Another one and a half year passed when I was in IPBA (that sums up to about five years since I knew her), and only then I felt like I had gathered enough courage to confess again. One night, just few days before my final exam during foundation year, I texted her. We had the casual chit-chat and updates about each other. A quarter to midnight, I dared myself to ask her this question:

"Awak single lagi?"

I waited until midnight but there was no reply. I felt guilty of asking the question and I apologised if the question was somewhat offensive to her. Another quarter of an hour passed and still there was no reply. I gave up hope of receiving any reply and focused on my study. To my surprise, I received a text at half past midnight:

"Awak, maaf tau reply lambat. Tadi ada orang call saya. Orang penting."

Or something along the line. I forgot how she wrote in the message but it was a suggestive text. To tell me that she was taken. It took me the whole ten minutes just to reply:

"It's okay, friend. Good night."


Okay, that should be all. Bukan hendak menimbulkan tentang perkara silam, sekadar mahu berkongsi pengalaman. Bagi saya, banyak yang saya pelajari dari pengalaman sendiri. They are:

1) A man has to be brave to let the girl he likes know about his feelings. But of course, ikutlah saranan syarak.
2) Be responsible for what you said. Never take back what you said if it was really what you meant.
3) Do not easily let go things of value to you.

And many other lessons if you were to reflect on it from different perspectives.

Most people often say they want to just forget about their "dark past". Well I don't agree with that. Mind you, things happen for reasons and if you reflect much on them, you will learn a wisdom or two.

So, my friends. Forgive unwanted things from your "dark past" and learn to let go, but remember. When I said remember, I did not mean untuk ungkit-mengungkit. Remember, so that you don't repeat the same mistakes again. If you can do that, I can assure you my friend, that you have become wiser than the you from yesterday.

"Ya Allah! Bukakanlah pintu hati kami untuk memahami pengajaran di sebalik perkara-perkara yang telah Engkau aturkan dalam hidup kami, mudah-mudahan kami beroleh kebijaksanaan dan menjadi hamba-hambaMu yang syukur dan dekat denganMu."

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Questions

In the name of Allah, Owner of my Heart.

Oft-times when I sit alone,
many things
spin in my head.
My head and heart
are caught in
this turmoil of emotion.

Oft-times when I sat alone,
I wonder:
Have I been an obedient servant
to the Almighty Allah?
Every time,
yes, every time
I sunk my head to the floor
prostrating to the One God,
I wish I could force my eyes
to excrete pure droplets
of real love and fear.
But I guess,
that won't happen
if I
haven't tried hard
to remain steadfast
in purifying my own heart.

Oft-times when I sit alone,
I wonder:
How do people
(who know me)
view me?
Every time,
yes, every time
my beloved
family members
and friends
seek me for helps and advices,
I wouldn't turn them down.
But sometimes,
I just forgotten that
the one needing
helps and advices
the most
is my own self.

Am I living my life
as what Islam has outlined for me?
Have I done things right
following my own principles?
Had I been a good person
to everyone?

to say this
I'm not too sure myself.
But perhaps.
The answers
are least important.
What more important
is the questions
that kept you
moving forward,

"O Allah! My tongue is tied tight, I know not what to say. The heart is rumbling, I fear it of sins. Thou knoweth best what is in mine heart -- so I beseech Thee, O my Lord! -- keep me on this Straight Path Thou hath let me found, and keep this feelings I have felt in this heart Thou owns'd."