Finding your Fulfillment

Truth be told I didn’t know this day existed until I was looking for content to fill up the social media calendar.

World Health Day is held by the WHO to spread global awareness on the importance on health yadda yadda yadda. This year’s theme is on Universal Health Coverage. In it’s simplest form, visualise a kid from a 3rd world country smiling in front of a doctor getting his body checked against the backdrop of rather run-down clinic. Yup something like that.

Obviously I can’t be on the same topic as this year’s theme since I am living on the other side of the world. And so I decided to shift my focus on something intangible yet within our reach – choosing happiness. Dalai Lama did once say that “happiness is the highest form of health”.

Photo wise I chose a photo of our staff smiling instead of just a bowl of rice or noodles. The backstory was that Aunty Poh wanted to do a balloon sculpture performance for the patients during our bi-annual day of giving. In the end the hospital requested us to give out over 100 balloons to prevent the elderly from snatching. And so the “balloon team” came early at 10am (the event started at 1pm?) to pump the balloons.

Mind you, Aunty was only a hobbyist in this area and she told me that she learnt this skill secretly. She didn’t have a helium pump that could inflate a balloon in just 5 seconds. Everything was done manually with a hand pump. It was hard work, but what else can be more fulfilling than to see the elderly holding a colorful balloon in their hand after the event ended? Imagine lying nearly for whole day on the bed in a gloomy ward, riddled with pain or bed sores with other patients about the same physical and mental state as you, and then someone whom you have never met before passes you a balloon to brighten up your day?

When you see someone happy, or when you are able to make someone’s day or do them a small favour, trust me – your smile would be genuinely from your heart, instead of being forced or faked.

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I haven’t been updating since CNY so here’s a little update on how I have been.

For the past few weeks, I have been feeling really down. It was as though there was a dark cloud over my head for most of the days. There were a number of convoluting thoughts and experiences that I went through – making the difficult decision of starting over to pursue what I really want in life, disillusionment, not finding the satisfaction in what I was doing, in a frequent state of limbo etc etc. I fell sick AGAIN and ended up seeing the TCM physician for a change. Now you see my point on how health and emotional well-being go hand in hand?

I am pretty sure Eeyore is my spirit animal

It was those days where I just wanted to be alone. I tried my best to put on a brave front and smile when talking to others, or when receiving feedback for my work. But the dark cloud didn’t go away. Often time I find myself stoning off and unable to keep up with the conversation. It was difficult trying to hide my vulnerability and emotional side. Some people can do so really well. But I can’t, because I am not an actress.

The dark cloud cleared up during my deployment last week and when I came back. There were some changes made at the workplace and I felt as though I was liberated. I guess I could only thank my lucky stars for this.

Anyway I had already made up my mind to take the plunge and do something I have never thought of doing. Which means that I will be starting over and do another degree in Chinese Medicine. It’s gonna be a 5 long years and I will probably lose out a lot during the best years of my life. But it’s precisely that you are in your best years that you want to do what you want.

I don’t see myself thinking about how to increase revenue or looking at sales numbers 5 years down the road. I hate talking and thinking in dollars and cents. I am more contented with being an employee than to spearhead a business. It was never my interest. Instead what I find fulfilling is sharing knowledge, doing what I can do to help people, and empowering them how to be in control of their health.

Everyone has the right to chase after what you find rewarding. There’s no point in life wasting time over things you don’t feel satisfied. Choose fulfillment as your end goal in every circumstance.

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Love Yourself First

写给绿一点的忠实顾客,也是写给我自己的一番话。有时候一直任劳任怨地为其他人付出,虽然都是发自内心的选择,但久而久之别人也会当成是理所当然的事。

虽然有时候心累了,可是还是得学习如何爱自己,给自己一点强心针,继续走下去。

What’s an Acai?

There was no stopping in the momentum after Xmas and the year end. Immediately we were going full speed ahead into the first project of the year – a cafe concept

The whole concept was planned out rather quickly and there was a rush to get it executed. Many details were just not ironed out properly. I won’t go further into it because the thought of it just makes me feel more frustrated. But there’s one thing I definitely have to raise here.

On Sunday afternoon (one day before the opening) I got a last minute notice that some items had to be taken out of the menu, because these products were tested on Sat during a product training and somehow they didn’t work out. Initially my blood was boiling (literally) because of the sudden notice. I had to re-print everything and come up with a temporary solution to cover up whatever that will not be available. In short I had to produce a miracle. And I had to skip ballet class just to put out a fire that was not caused by me. How can I not be angry?

Some of my colleagues offered to help while I was totally not expecting it. What a day of an emotional roller coaster where I was raging and helpless, till feeling touched and indebted.

Took duct tape to cover up the words till the next re-print. Mind you, coming up with a cover up wasnt as easy as you think. Normal paper, other lightbox films and masking tape did not work because they are still thin enough to be seen through. No matter how ugly or unprofessional it may look, I can’t give a damn anymore due to the interest of time. At least it’s better than customers asking for the product and only to find it not available.

Anyway all’s good as of now. Yes and I managed to make up for my weekly dose of ballet by going for open class yesterday.

Okay enough of the whining. Here are some snippets of what’s brewing. If you need a mood booster then greendot cafe is here for you.

Yes signage installation at 10pm. I didnt know what goes behind making a signage so it was another culture shock. And before that I even had to do the paperwork like getting the contractor to fill in forms. Touch my heart I have never done all these before.

Acai Bowl to make you feel acai-mazing. Oh gawd this was one the most difficult food to style. The acai base melts pretty fast and it doesnt look presentable when the fruits and nuts sink into the sea of acai.

Happiness in a Bowl – Now Smoothies need not be sipped through a straw. The chocolate banana peanut butter flavour was a miss to me though. Maybe I should give it another chance.

The moment when you bought a bag of soy beans and had no idea what to do with it after a photoshoot because you have zero culinary skills. Anyway if you need a perk me up, the espresso will be a soy good choice.

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Is it a fruit beer? Is it a juice? No! It’s a fusion of cold brewed oolong tea with strawberry!

There’s also premium tea from the mountains of Alishan if your tastebuds are craving for the orient.

“嫁给我吧!”

“滚!”

The saddest and shortest love story ever.

Strangely I developed a craving for sweet foods during this period. I never liked eating sweet stuff and I had low tolerance for sugar. Could it be…???

Also tried Hee tea, i tea and Teafolia. The cheese tea was kns, the Strawberry konjac drink was like a diabetic bomb waiting to explode anytime, and the Matcha latte was more of a mix of Matcha powder and water. Probably won’t go back for a second helping since I am only trying out for the concept.

Alright time to sleep now bye.

Food for Thought 

4th day of 2018. Still at rock bottom. Yesterday night I caught a fever and gastric pain so I took MC for today. Not sure if I have been eating too much good food or the weather or the stress. Feeling much better already so I hope I can go for dragonboat this Sat.

Yesterday a customer wrote in to feedback that the staff did not serve him with utensils along with his order; the staff also did not direct him where to take the cutlery, and he was quite annoyed that there were no bigger sized black spoons availabile at the outlet which made it difficult for him to eat his noodles. At that time when I saw the message, I was at eating ramen out of a flimsy plastic spoon and wooden chopsticks, because that was only what the shop had. 

At first I thought to myself “why on earth are people kicking such a big fuss over utensils? Come on man, I ate my lunch with disposable cutlery and I am not even complaining!”

I could have just dismissed his feedback, but there was one sentence in his lengthy message that struck me – something along the lines of how greendot failed to live up to our core values care, love and hope, through a seemingly innocent “mistake”. 

Well yeah he did make a valid point there. Why do customers keep coming back to greendot, apart from the food? What is it in our mission and beliefs that made greendot stand out from other F&B businesses? There was one phrase which the boss often shared with us “小细节用心,成就每一口幸福”. Not only paying attention to detail lies in the food preparation, but also being mindful to customers’ needs and making them feel like home. Which includes saving them the extra trip to take cultery when they are already seated down comfortably. 

After replying to the customer, I shared the feedback with the supervisors and then went up to the ORP outlet for a meeting. While waiting for the vendor to reach I went to catch up with one of the aunties. We did talk quite a bit like what’s going on in office and some future projects. In the midst of our conversation she mentioned something about how we should give new staff some time to prove themselves even though they still make mistakes at times. Afterall being new, they may not have grasped what greendot meant to everyone else. Truth be told I found it weird why she brought up this topic, since ORP seldom had new staff coming in. 

Anyway after the meeting, the supervisor of the outlet which kena complained apologised for the mistake, saying that the staff on duty is new and have forgotten the details, and that he will keep a closer eye on them to prevemt such incidents from happening again. 

Life’s so amazing isn’t it? When you are caught perplexed over a problem, the words of wisdom to help you get around situation is always somewhere around you, just that you have to look for it. 

But I was glad that this problem happened. In the pursuit of chasing for business, or just merely doing what you have been tasked to do, don’t neglect or underestimate the small things. Simple actions done out of care, love and hope can occupy the biggest space in someone else’s hearts. Every staff, regardless old or new (in terms of how long they have joined the family), has the power to touch a customer and make his/her day. 

Alright time to sleep (again!)

10 Highlights of 2017

“Start the year at rock bottom so that the only way for you is up”

Hell yeah I am starting my 2018 at rock bottom way earlier than you fams. Despite exercising 3-4 times a week, being a flexitarian and cutting down on junk food, my immune system failed me. Fell sick on the last working day of 2017 and took MC for the day. But no worry fams I am fine. 

I haven’t been updating my blog much this year so here’s a summary of the major milestones this year. 2017 has been tough but kind to me. Looking back, it was a year of growth and being thankful with what life has put me through so far. It was a great year! Anyway here are the top 10 moments let’s go! 

 1. Highlighted my hair.

Hahaha so punny! But you only live once so why not go for a wild color? I didn’t want to bleach my hair because I am afraid of burning my scalp so I chose to go for underlights. But the red color washes off easily and so there was a period of time where I went around with rose-brown-gold colored hair. The most inconvenient part was having to spray my hair black whenever I had to attend army events. 


Shit colored hair 



2. Designed some actual shit

With just a WSQ cert on basic illustration from First Media Academy, I just used whatever skill I had learnt and designed all sorts of stuff for the company, ranging from posters to lightboxes to menu boards to menus to namecards to the company shirt to the staff uniform to delivery vehicle yadda yadda. It was not only for 1 brand, but 3. 

It wasn’t easy. Designing was really time-consuming when there was only myself in the department. At times I get told that the design is “missing something” but I have no idea what is missing because I can’t read minds. At times I felt that the end product looked stale but I had no idea how to inject any other refreshing creative elements. It was frustrating and there were many hair-pulling moments but when I see the artwork being printed out and installed, it was worth it. 

Some of my work may look amateurish in the eyes of other design professionals. But bear in mind that we were at different starting points.

One of my very first designs – A touchpoint in the new outlet. The company started asking me to design side menus and posters in late 2016 but I have never done such a “big” project before.


Conceptualised the logo for the company’s budding hawkerpreneurs.


Pillar wrap…which was pasted wrongly by the printer. Ffs.

3. Work itself

2017 marked exactly 1 year of working in the HQ. Nearly everyday was a happening day – putting out fire, going out to see new concepts, dropping by outlets to brief them on promotions, conducting supervisor briefings, tasting food, executing events, going to & fro with printing suppliers, engaging in highly-opionated discussions, learning from one another, falling down & making mistakes… the list goes on. Even when I am on leave or MC or deployment, staff were calling me to deal with problems like fixing the outlet TV. I could have written 10 more posts on work-related things but life is not about work.

There were also times where I had to learn how to handle issues that were not within my area of responsibility. Like telling the TV signage supplier where to install the wiring in the new outlet and solving the wifi connectivity. There was also once where the outlet short-circuited and the staff thought it was the POS problem and called me to handle. It doesn’t hurt to learn more. 

I spent a lot of time and energy on work, and no matter how tiring or depressing it got sometimes, yes it was a fulfilling year. 

Our favourite aunties 


Did a home refurbishment for a resident’s unit with Hougang Northeast CDC. We sponsored lunch for the participants and painted the resident’s house. I skipped dragonboat for this! 

Other than that we also cooked & packed meals at Willing Hearts and cleaned up homes at Redhill area for our bi-annual day of giving. Anyway this home refurbishment was a good time for me to do some good, because all the while I was the photographer during the company’s charity events.


Did a Christmas mailbox campaign called Send a Little Gratitude across all the outlets. Because sending xmas greetings via whatsapp is getting too mainstream, we decided to go back to the good ol’ classic way of handwriting xmas cards. If you value someone in your life, you will definitely spend more time penning down your message. Once written from the heart, there is no backspace. 


4. Love-Hate relationship…with poké bowl!

Poké Bowl (no not pokemon or poking people) was a food trend this year. For those who don’t know, it’s a meal originated from Hawaii, incorporating raw fish with all sorts of ingredients like avocado, pineapples etc marinated in all sorts of seasonings. The base of the bowl includes sushi rice/ brown rice or salad base (Side note: I really dont understand why there are people on earth who are so afraid of carbs). Poké bowls are often marketed as healthy and balanced, thus a hit among health-conscious eaters.

I have tried the one at Aloha Poke and was totally blown away by it. The salomon was bombz!

Long story short, the company decided to launch a vegetarian salmon version poké bowl. I wasn’t involved in the R&D part but more of as a guenia pig tasting the dish. The whole process took longer than expected and I was officially sick of the product by the time it launched. 

All the poké bowl versions from the very first to the final. Like pokémon evolving like that. Haha! 


Did I also mention that when the final product was out, we also had to do the styling for the photoshoot and promotional video? During media tasting, we also prepared 20 over poké bowls for the attendees. That’s it man, I am not going to eat another poké bowl for the whole of 2018. 

5. Mentored interns at work

Mentored 2 design interns so far. But before that I also had to interview the candidates. Usually it’s the interviewee who should be nervous, but it was also nerve-wrecking on my end! 

Having being used to the entire department to myself, it was not easy delegating work and entrusting others to do what you have been doing. You may think “Wah good for you, you finally have someone to help you” but I don’t want to be seen as if I am pushing work to others. Since fate wants you to cross paths with certain people, there are certain traits of the person you have to learn from them, and certain traits they have to learn from you. So why not take this opportunity to let go and re-orientate your job scope to a different direction? If you find yourself stuck doing the same thing after 6 months, something isn’t going right. 

Mentoring people is like a totally brand new skill set of its own. When someone is better than you in what you have been doing, there’s no need to feel insecure or afraid. Instead you have to think of how to make them best contribute to the company and whatever project you are undertaking. Afterall you can’t be good in everything. Fortunately my interns are both very nice and have a mature understanding towards what they are tasked to do.

6. Watched a live soccer match 

Alright, that’s enough of work! No.6 on my list is actually a throwback to International Champions Cup in July which was Bayern vs Chelsea. Okay I wasn’t as hardcore as other fans who waited at the hotel to take photos of the players, but I am content with it. 

My next goal in life is to watch a match at Stamford Bridge. Bonus points if I can find N’golo Kante to take a wefie. 


7. Took up aikido

After 1 year of consideration and procrastination, I finally signed up for aikido class. To do a parallel comparison, It’s like learning ballet steps in French terms but now they are in Japanese lol. Some of the moves are damn hard to grasp and my muscle memory is not getting it at times. Also had to learn how to break fall properly if not you might end up breaking your arm. Fortunately the sensei is really nice and kept using real-life scenarios to describe the rationale of the moves if not it won’t have made any sense to me. 

Aikido is also on the defensive side and the sensei advised against using it on people unless you are attacked, although I might use it on guys who try to hold my hand and I happen to dislike that guy.

Not thinking far ahead of how much I want to achieve in Aikido (cos people go for exams and all and I hate exams). One move at a time. 

8. Dragonboat

It’s has also been a year since I started dragonboat! I have to be honest that it was a pain in the ass getting up early on Saturday morning. But as a team, not only the technique needs to be there, but also the chemistry and the commitment to come down every session to polish up whatever that is lacking. 

Did 3 races for the year – army ragetta, dragon divas and kdf. Army ragetta was the big one. And what the hell man, it rained like mad the whole morning. Dragon divas was a charity race to help the breast cancer foundation raise funds, and each team had to do up a drags performance. But the highlight was the free flow beer and party afterwards. The other competing teams were ang moh and pinoy professionals so that’s kinda expected. Kdf is another charity race but there was a good mix of professionals and community/club based teams. Got asked to be the drummer which was quite scary at first because I can’t even sit down properly and I was trying not to fall off! 

Full speed ahead!

9. Safvc deployment 

The hardest thing while being on deployment is to have something go wrong at the workplace and my colleagues desperately trying to reach me, but on my end I can’t pick up the phone if not it would look damn unprofessional. 

Anyway it was also a good year of helping out for army related events like planning and helping out for AOH, ndp and also going back to tekong 1 year later to do event photography of the new SVs doing their basic training. Met all sorts of people each time so it’s a really good way to brush up on my social skills. 

10. Went for blind dates…and failed

Yes I took a gamble this year and decided to let cupid decide my fate. Signed a contract with this matchmaking agency which allows me to go on unlimited dates for 6 months. Well… some guys were okay, some were trash, some shared similar interests but didn’t seem to go far, some just had no chemistry, some just didn’t text back after the date. I presume they are dead. 

The law of average didn’t work out this time and cupid is being a bastard to me as usual. But at least I got my dinner covered for many times because the guys paid. Never say no to free food! 

Okay that’s all for 2017. 2018 just started off with a heavy downpour but it is a good time to sleep. Here’s to a more meaningful year and full steam ahead!