Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

I read the story today of how in the time of Joshua the Israelites nearly came war over the matter of an altar that their brothers had built across the Jordan. Thankfully enough the story did not end in a bloody civil war but it ended happily enough with swords and spears being put away after they talked things over and the truth of the matter was revealed. If you don’t yet know the story click here.

The Punisher always shoots first and asks questions later. :P

The Punisher always shoots first and asks questions later. 😛

Anyways, the point I wanna make is that its really easy to just lose it and to take up defensive positions or even worse to go into a situation with guns blazing when things aren’t going our way with colleagues and friends. There have been quite a few instances where my blood has boiled this year and I reacted rather than responded to situations (a lot of it has to do with words; which is why I am learning a lot to be careful with the words I use in emails & in my speech). Some of my blow-ups have been warranted but I’m learning that before we make any conclusions it’s always best to clarify things as a first step. By asking questions first and shooting later we save ourselves a whole load of heartache and at the same time we preserve the relationships we have with others.

My recent experience with Apple is a mild example of shooting first and asking questions later. While my conclusion that brands don’t care much about its customers may have been right for the most part, what I should have done is clarified things further before ranting about it. That would have saved me some trouble. Admittedly ranting about it online was also an experiment and test for me to see whether or not Apple would have responded to my emails on their site.

Sometimes it may be justified to be angry at something and cos’ rightly so people do mess up but I’m learning more and more to be patient and to work things through with the person. After all it’s a lot easier to get through to someone without anger clouding the situation. A lil’ more understanding and a lil’ more patience can do a whole lot to ease a situation. Attacking a person for the most part won’t resolve heated situations and at the end of the day we’d regret angry words that we just cannot take back. Even if we’re wronged I’m also learning to let things slide cos’ somehow the truth always gets revealed.

So my tip for the day is:

“Don’t burst a blood vessel and stay still like a mussel.”

Heh … corny I know. Have a good start to the work week peeps.


Anger Management

Angry Donald!

Angry Donald!

I’ve been thinking a lot about anger and in my own experience of it not much good comes out of it. When I’m angry I get riled up and for the most part unable to think straight or see reason. The worst part I guess is how prolonged anger & bitterness can affect one’s health.

Forgiving someone for hurting us is tough. It’s taken me 3 years to work through my issues and at times it felt so very unfair that I was the one burdened with the hurt. It’s not an experience that I would wish on anyone but it does make me question the benefits of loving someone especially when there are unsaid expectations. Unconditional love isn’t something that comes natural for people.

Having said all that … I’ve come to learn that anger management is all about turning the other cheek and forgiving the parties who wronged us. Better that than to hold a grudge cos’ sometimes hurt can come through misunderstandings too. It’s difficult but I’m doing the best I can to give people the benefit of the doubt. It’s tough though cos’ I find it a little difficult to trust people and right now it’s more natural for me to view things negatively rather than positively.

At the end of the day I really want to be settled in myself. There’s just so much to take on in life and I truly just want to be content. Being less angry certainly is something worthwhile to have in life. Wouldn’t all of you agree?

Slow Burning Music?

Do you know what it’s like to feel like you have a raging anger in you that’s on slow burn? As it simmers … it continues to fuel you and then at the wrong time & wrong place it’d just explode. That’s what it feels like for me. I feel like I’m on this timer that threatens to overwhelm me when not kept in check. It’s damn frustrating to feel so stuck and trying hard to get unstuck but not really making much progress.

I am very sure of a lot of my choices and it really hits me hard when I get questioned constantly. It drives me up the wall that people assume I have not thought things through and what’s worse is that it feels as if people don’t realise that a lot of times I have counted the cost of making a decision. It’s not easy to stick with things but the cost has already been weighed out. What I cannot say is what the future would hold … while I know that my decision now to build up Four Forty Records means sacrificing every short term financial payoff, it doesn’t make it any easier especially when everything I work towards now goes towards building the artistes in our stable. What do I see out of it? Honestly … nothing much right now in terms of personal gain but everything in terms of working through the daily grind. What’s worse is doing a lot of waiting around because we don’t really call the shots. I really love what I do but it’s tough facing the reality of the challenges that I must face. I do hope that this investment will pay off in the future but there really is no guarantee to that is there? I guess that’s what it means to risk it all doesn’t it?

The state of the industry is not too great right now and world-wide we’re seeing a shrinking in terms of sales. That’s why it’s really important we begin educating the young about intellectual property and the damage it does to just go out there and download or buy a pirated CD. That includes software as well. Don’t any of you every wonder just how many people depend on the sale of software or a music CD to keep on doing what they love? And while I’m on a roll here … would it hurt to support local music or even international artistes as well? I really have seen lots of great local talent but what do we hear on radio more? Lots of recycled international songs and not that many local efforts. Make a difference … and start listening to all kinds of music. We have some really good stuff locally and I’m not just talking about Juwita but people like Reshmonu and so many others both in the English & Bahasa Malaysia segment of the market.

Nuff said! I shall shut up now … but I leave everyone with this question. Is there a future for the Malaysian music industry? And what can you guys do to be a part of it?


In the past few months I’ve been working through a whole lot of anger & bitterness in my heart. I know that the best thing for me to do is to forgive her for hurting me so much but forgiveness is not the easiest thing to do. Today I had my very first online conversation with her. It was brief but I think I got a bit more pain out of my system by speaking to the very person who hurt me. What I learnt about forgiveness these past 2 months or so is this:

Forgiveness does not mean that the person who hurt you was right. And it does not mean that you are OK with what was done to you. And that’s true for me. For a while now I kept justifying why she did what she did but the fact is what she did was plain wrong whatever her intentions were. The ends do not justify the means.

Forgiveness does not mean that the hurt goes away. I puzzle with this bit but it’s true. I still hurt very much and even though it’s frustrating I’m somewhat more at rest that it’s not my fault that I’m hurt this much. She did what she did and she bears responsibility for that no matter what she may think or feel. Nothing changes what has happened and truly the best thing for me to do is to forgive her.

Forgiveness does not mean that reconciliation happens. This part is pretty difficult to grasp but it’s a sad truth. Also things between us will never be the same again despite her claims of friendship. If you can hurt someone who loves you so much then I cannot imagine what a regular friendship could become because of selfish behaviour. Trust once broken doesn’t mean it can easily be regained. I guess it still hurts very much now and again I am so very frustrated. I get very angry with myself and with how I feel. How can I ever love someone else with all this crap inside me? Time has healed a lot but it still hurts like hell at times.

There’s still so much to learn about forgiveness. And I’m slowly beginning to pray blessing into her life … in what little I can do now in praying for other people. I don’t know if things will ever get better and even if it does nothing can change what has happened. That’s the suckiest thing you know?

Anyways, I had a very productive day today. Attended the RIM AGM in Vistana Hotel then dropped off Juwita’s brand new single “Reach” at Red104.9 & Suria FM. Got our dispatch guy to send the single over to & Mix FM also and I finally prepared cheques for payments this afternoon! Another big plus was meeting up with my good friend Mary Ann for dinner. To cap the day off I changed some Singapore Dollars from sales in Singapore to Malaysian Ringgit and then banked in some cheques too! On a more fun note I changed the 2nd disc on my Spider 3 DVD set cos it was faulty AND browsed through Borders. It’s been a good day. My brother is watching Spidey 3 now while I blog and I’m gonna be joining him in a bit.

Sorry guys! No pictures this time round but I will have some up soon cos’ I’ll be at some events this weekend plus my friend Lionel’s wedding.