Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E Frankl

2 04 2010

Some quotes from the book.. in which Viktor Frankl shares about his experience in the Nazi concentration camp..

“It is one the of the basic tenets of logotherapy that man’s concern is not to gain pleasure or avoid pain but rather to see a meaning in his life. That is why man is even ready to suffer, on the condition, to be sure, that his suffering has a meaning.”

“What man actually needs is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for a worthwhile goal, a freely chosen task. What he needs is not the discharge of tension at any cost but the call of a potential meaning waiting to be fulfilled by him.”

There is meaning in life, despite suffering, despite difficulties. And having seen patients and their families suffer from the impact/progression of illness, I can attest to that. It pains to see how some patients’ lives rage with difficulty after difficulty. But it is also through all that that I come to realize how resilient many of them are. Many are able to tell me “I want to continue living”, “I don’t want to die so early”, “I want to see my children grow up”. There is always meaning to be made/found.

What a privileged job I have to be able to witness all that bravery!

I don’t have all the answers, and I don’t have a conclusion. But I’ll enjoy every moment of it! Thank you for being such a delightful presence in my life.


This Easter

2 04 2010

This Easter, I feel strangely grateful to God about the life I’m living. The life I’ve been given. Not that I wasn’t grateful to God in previous Easters. But perhaps, this time round, in a more personal and non-religious manner. This must be the biggest irony of it all given that I stopped attending church last May. I feel like I’m given the chance to be real as a person and learning to appreciate life more.

The past few months have been challenging. But I am reminded that I am living my dream.. I’ve got a decent family, a great bunch of friends and a wonderful job that I am passionate about. And I know that God is in all of it and He is still watching over me. I continue to want to live a life that counts, a life that can make someone else’s life a little easier to live.

I feel like I’m on the cusp of something wonderful… 🙂

what hope looks like to me..

29 03 2010

hope, there's hope! (Sunrise in Kollam, India)

meanwhile, gotta work like crazy.

meanwhile, i think about the things i want to do.

before i turn 30, i want to climb a mountain in taiwan.

i want to trek at milford track. i want to learn diving. i want to visit sikkim, darjeeling and nepal. i want to work in taiwan/thailand/china. any of those places are good.

meanwhile, gotta step out and gain exposure.

it’s so upstream. but meanwhile i learn to hope.


28 03 2010

大笨蛋, 你在期待什么呢?

Are you stringing me along?

Chiam, get a life!

There are many things in life that we can’t plan for.

We just make the best of what comes along.

what walking the talk now means.

21 03 2010

It means:

– doing research work, specifically data analysis, on weekends.

– reading up on advance care planning in my free time.

– reading up on HIV/AIDS in my free time.

– stepping out of my comfort zone to initiate things at work.

– running twice a week. must stay sane and healthy.

– being home early on at least one weekday.

– learning the basics.. which is more difficult due to the  steep learning curve which is expected in the initial stages.

– being able to speak up, intelligently, coherently and cogently when the need arises.

That does not include meeting up with friends and other personal commitments..etc.

I was inspired and motivated again to be serious in conscientiously working toward my goal.. goal of doing master’s.. after Social Workers’ Day. After hearing from my favourite professor again after 2 years, I sure feel energized!

I feel the need to brush up on my skills and knowledge, the need to do research, the need to read and be disciplined about it. Five years down the road, I don’t want to be a social worker with just practice wisdom and nothing more. I want to know what works, what doesn’t – based on research. I want to know how exactly what I’m doing is making/not making a difference. To me, that is being accountable to my patients and to my employer.

It all feels so daunting. I feel like I’m scaring myself with these goals. But then, when I look around me, I know they’re not impossible to achieve. 2 MSWs have gone to Oxford Uni to study Evidence-Based Practice.. another is going to the States to get her PhD. 1 whom I know personally is still actively doing public education, research etc all at the same time.

I just need to break those goals down into smaller, do-able steps/tasks. And I need to surround myself with brave, passionate people who will correct me and inspire me along the way.

Anyway, I was a brave girl this week. Attended a course on breaking bad news, I volunteered to role-play.. any social worker would know stepping out to role-play the role of a social worker is a challenging thing to do because it exposes your quality of work to the people observing you. I am glad I stepped out. I told myself that I won’t have the right to encourage my future supervisees to be bold if I don’t challenge myself to step out now. 🙂 That’s such a milestone for me because I feel like I’ve stayed far too long in my comfort zone. I feel like I’m getting ready to keep stepping out again!

Walk the talk, Chiam, walk the talk. I hope that this passion will only keep burning stronger with each new experience.


9 03 2010

a quarter of the year is almost gonna be over – can you believe it?


quarter-mark check:

– yea still running. 1-2 times per week.

– rollerblading – not started yet.

– research – still doing.. very slowly.. may start on another project soon. fingers crossed.

– read – yea still reading. read lots in india.

– regret it not – nope. no regrets – did some brave things. happy.

hmm… i feel like i should really get out and start doing more things.. like volunteer.. or maybe try out overseas volunteering. oh wait. i’m planning to adopt a child. 🙂 i want to work/study overseas in the near future. perhaps taiwan/states or somewhere. shall build on my current work first.

the possibilities are large!

what if!

24 02 2010

what if i can work 3 days and rest for 4 days and go on a holiday every 2 months.

i am beginning to re-examine what/how i really want to live my life.

i am wrecking my brains over where i should go if i wanna go backpacking alone.. hmm. pretty exciting thought.

it wont happen soon though. i am swarmed.

take me away.