Thursday, 24 July 2008

Wrong and again I was wrong

When I was in standard 6, I thought getting anything less than straight As in UPSR would spell the end of the world for me. I got straight As and entered into a random class in Form 1. I reckon I would have been who I am today even if I got all Bs. I guess I was wrong about the end of the world.

When I was in Form 3, I thought getting anything less than straight As in PMR would spell the end of the world for me. I was wrong… Though I got all As except for 1 subject, my life didn’t end. I still managed to do what I want in Form 4 and Form 5. I guess I was wrong about the end of the world…

When I was in Form 5, I came into realisation that results are not everything so I only targeted several distinctions in SPM. True enough, I got the distinctions in exactly the subjects I wanted. I was very happy. But I think I would have felt the same if my results were something else. Of course, I don’t expect to fail.

When I was in college, I thought getting into a recognised university is all that matters. Getting into a crappy one would spell the end of the world for me. I got into a rather crappy university due to financial restrictions. I thought I would lose out to those who entered into prestigious university. Looking at myself now, I don’t see me anything less than some of those who were fortunate enough to enter top grade universities. I guess I was wrong… again.
When I was in university, I thought getting anything less than a second-upper-class honours would spell the end of the world for me. I did get my second-upper-class honours. But at the same time, I see some of my friends who didn’t do as well while in university but ended up doing much better than me now. I guess I was wrong… again.

After graduating, I thought getting into the Big 4 (then Big 5) accounting firm would guarantee me a bright future. I got into one of them, only to find out that life was hell. But I persevered, as I still believed then that it would do me good. Am I reaping the reward and am I in the bright future I thought I would be now? Perhaps… perhaps not. But since some of my friends are doing much better than me though they didn’t slog it through the Big 4, I guess I could have been wrong… again…

I spent my 20s building my career believing that career is what will guarantee me a good life. But once I hit 30, I realised health is the utmost important thing in life. Without health, good life is virtually impossible. Again, I was wrong…

Someone once told me that any man at his dying bed would never wish that he had spent more time at his work-desk. But most of the time, that dying man tends to have spent too much time at his work and too little time with his family. I hope I won’t be saying “I am wrong once again” in heaven…

On hindsight, the dying man in question must be anyone but Chinese.

Have you been wrong before?

55 comments:

day-dreamer said...

It's not too late now. You know what to do. =)

drumsticks said...

oh yes.. wrong so many times.. i don't know when can the wrong becomes right.

btw, one distance relative of ours still talked business 10 mins before he died of cancer. hard to believe but its true.

rainbow angeles said...

why...so...serious...

que sera sera... ;-)

rachel said...

when i was in std 6, i didnt know that i could or expected to score straight As. when i did, i started setting high targets for myself. after reading ur entry, i realised my entire secondary school life was ruled by how many As i've got. sad case.... wish our education wasnt so results oriented, should be more learning and gaining knowledge oriented.

i still think that getting good results in spm is better. good results = better opportunities for tertiary education i.e. better tertiary instituition, scholarships.

Victor said...

wah i tihnk i must have been wrong a zillion times la brother...hahaha, but i'm still doing ok. it's God's grace that matters after all.

there's nothing wrong about being wrong, but what is important are things we learnt from our mistakes and wrongs and use this experiences to help others so that they will not repeat the same mistakes. God allowed us to be wrong for a reason and that reason I believe is to bless others.

just my 2 cents....

Rashikaps said...

Been there too.. and then realized there's no perfect job.. that balance between work n fun is something one will have to strive for endlessly.. Nobody got it all.. Some you get, some you don't is my self talk :)

mh said...

But if you keep harping on how wrong you've been...does this equal to you living your life in regret? Hind sight is of course 20/20. I'd rather think that what does not break you in the past makes you stronger. Move forward, have faith and make the best of what you have.

cc said...

I used to think that too. After many trials and turbulent, life taught me the journey is far more rewarding than the destination sometimes.

Your writing are very meaningful and thought provoking. Many times I found myself reflect upon the things you wrote. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart!

suituapui said...

Yes! Yes! Yes! You were wrong ALL the way!!!...I was never good at school but "we had joy, we had fun..." And I won't say I wasn't successful in my career, or in my life...unless u judge that based on money and position perhaps (Not me!)!...People may think I'm odd but I keep telling my daughter not to work so hard, just scrape thru', that's good enough! And nothing is more important than time with the family...and friends!

myop101 said...

many times my friend, many times. you are not alone.

i once thought i will never go to university. once i am in form 4, somehow, that is a possibility. i planned my career path and my life. things don't always work out the way i wanted but in hindsight, without that cancer, i would be a different person today.

chooki said...

yah i am wrong all the time, and i actually quite like it. At least it gives me opportunities to differentiate and understand what's right, and appreciate 'right'.

then again these days I've start to recognize the value of 'information' as it is, rather than classifying it into the right and wrong information.

don't take it too hard on yourself

missironic said...

yeap..i was wrong for thinking differently abt many things. right now im actually redeeming my "wrong tot" as well. so yeah, human makes mistake. not surprising to tat line but its fact anyway. we just have to learn from our wrongness and move on. and probably when we look back, we'll give a laff at our wrongness later on. so, live and learn. =)

Huei said...

we've all been wrong. important thing is we realize it now, so we can correct it. u still have ur chances =)

and u're very right. it's not worth it working ones health off just to get a high and secure job..at the end of the day..one will be just working for the doctor.

this time u're right! to realize your mistake, and it's never too late to change ur lifestyle! take cares okies! =)

pinknpurplelizard said...

I once knew a guy who was stubborn as hell and always never owned up to his mistakes. Usually he says,"I know I'm wrong but I still think I'm right."

Lil' Ms Pinky said...

Being the eldest, I was often my parents' guinea pig. I was sent for ballet classes, piano lessons, and started tuition on every subject since Primary 1.

Believe me when I say it wasn't fun at all.

Being the eldest, I was often told to uphold the family 'face'. In my mother's words, 'Must get straight As ar. Aunty So-And-So's daughter got straight As so you must get oso.'

And to get straight As I did.

It was so stressful, so I totally understand how you feel.

When I first joined the airline, I thought I was better than anyone else. After all, armed with a degree and 'perfect' English, I WAS after all, better than any of them.

How wrong was I!

A person isn't judged by how much education one has received, or how many accolades one has beneath their belts.

This I have learnt. And I will continue learning. As I hit 30 in two years, like you, I realised that health and family are the two most important things in my life.

And I am glad I realised this before it's too late.

Carpe diem, zewt!

anomaly said...

I could really relate to this...i went to a top school and work for a global investment bank but life is hell! I'm struggling to find the balance i had hoped for

good post zewt!

mumsgather said...

The older you get, the wiser you become. Haha. Wish you good health, good career and a good family life.

giddy tigress said...

Of course I have been wrong. Everybody has been wrong.
But it takes a bigger person with a bigger heart to admit that.

foongmei said...

Thanks =)

j or ji said...

i blame the education system in malaysia.

cbenc12 said...

whoa.. of course everyone would have been wrong before. those who never just have never admitted. i gues at that different level of times, we have different priorities and expectation out of ourselves. its difficult to see the big picture at times.. so, do what u think is right now, it might even be wrong 10 years later~ but that's alright.. =)

Anak Merdeka said...

Hi Zewt, when you have kids of your own, I sure hope you revisit this post when they start going to school. LOL.

Personally, my own hindsights & experiences haven't really made me any smarter than I expected myself to be when it comes to the mundane choices and decisions I need to make each day.

But I've learned not to be too hard on myself, instead I pray for forgiveness from those who had to suffer from my poor judgments. ;-)

Seaqueen said...

Yes. I believe the dying man is a chinese. Hahahah!!!

I've been wrong plenty of time. At times, I still repeat them, but I believe God has a reason to let me learn it though.

Keep up your faith in Him.

G3NG3N said...

it's nothing wrong with the wrong once u found .. the more important thing is we found we are wrong .. just scared we never know we are wrong and keep continue for what it's right while it's not .. so .. we still bunch of lucky one to know that we are wrong ... cheers !!!!!

Jemima said...

As Shakespeare said: "There's nothing good or bad, but thinking makes it so."

p/s My answer to your question: YES. ;)

Aoki said...

Zewt, i've been wrong before from UPSR to PMR to SPM to Pre-Uni to Uni to mega MNC. Thus since the beginning of this year, i've decided "to love what i do, do what i love" because life is short.

Ultimately when we die, what matter the most is whether we have live life the fullest in Christ :)

Anonymous said...

why brood over the wrongs in life? take it as a blessing that you are wiser because of it.
i attained only lower secondary, dropping out during my early form 4. and here i am, doing as well as a second upper graduate of a foreign university.
life is about living each day to the maximum with complains kept to the minimum.

WY Kam 甘永元 said...

zewt, i am 25 this year, and working my ass off for my phd. 70-80 hours a week (85-90% producitivity) is the normal rate. am i working too hard, that i forget all the little things in life? i hope not.

H.C. Tan said...

everyone has done something wrong before in their lives...but i sure am glad to have at least done something that i would really like to do before enslaving myself to work. that is to go italy. even if it meant giving up my then job, to be sued by my uni sponsor-petronas... but hey..no regrets..!!! at least i must force myself not to regret my decision

the same for you too zewt. take care of ur health..and spend more time with your family. career is important but in the end u cant bring all the money u earned into your coffin with u...no offense yeah zewt...muax

chooki said...

erm. on hindsight. Yah our education system sucks, when people get to work, look back on life and milestones are based on how well we did in our government examinations.

i'm glad i did worser things than you to look back and laugh at. one of which, including swallowing a bottle of panadol, and thinking that my first boyfriend leaving me was because I was the worst person in the world. Damn glad i'm wrong.

zewt said...

day-dreamer - most definitely.

drumsticks - 10 minutes!!??? maybe he just wanna concentrate on something else.

rainbow angeles - where got serious... friday coming already.

rachel - so you're at the SPM level i guess. i bet you will say the same thing when u reach college :)

Victor - Amen to that. So long as we have the grace of God, doesnt matter we make mistakes, so long as we done repeat them :)

rashikaps - well... it's best that we come out of it as soon as possible, lest we wanna waste more time.

zewt said...

mh - i prefer to move forward and not make the mistake of those before me :)

cc - hey... it's my pleasure really :)

suituapui - yup... time with family... family bonding is the most important thing.

myop101 - well, i hope ppl dont need cancer to come to that realisation.

chooki - whole bottle of panadol??!!!?!?!?! I thank God that you're still alive.

zewt said...

missironic - so long as we learn... we will truly be... wiser.

huei - hahaha... yeah, we are all working for the doctor... and also the bank.

pinknpurplelizard - that guy is truly in need of Godly wisdom.

Lil Ms Pinky - beautiflly written. and i am indeed very happy that you realised what are the gems in your life before you hit 30. it's not going to be easy as pressure to do well in career is still going to be there but like u said... carpe diem!

anomaly - cheers... top global investment bank... have a feeling they are going to squeeze the last bit of life out of u.

mumsgather - thanks!! i would really love that!

zewt said...

giddy tigress - yup... admitting mistakes is... maturity.

foongmei - :)... you're welcome.

j or ji - that has got a big part to play... but we too are at fault.

cbenc12 - sometimes, we have to look at history to see wat is right and what is not.

anak merdeka - when i have kids... i will send to play sports and learn music :P

seaqueen - I will sister... without faith, it is impossible to please God :)

zewt said...

G3NG3N - maegen, what did you do to your nick? indeed, so long as we recognise our mistakes... we wil learn. but will we?

Jemima - oh no... there are certain things which are definitely bad... :)

Aoki - indeed... like what Ps D said on the first night of NOF... His love is better than life :)

anon @ 24/7 6.12pm - precisely... one does not need good grades to make the grade... you're the perfect example. it will be good to listen to your story.

WY Kam - wow... Dr Kam to be... well... if you believe that is what you want in life... go for it!

H.C. Tan - yeah... which is why, i am really slowly pulling my foot off the pedal. hopefully i wont end up with financial problems :)

lynnx01 said...

That's an interesting perspective, Zewt. I think it helped me reflect on my own as well. For me, I thought SPM was like "the important thing". I guess I was right because it was that stepping stone for me to earn a scholarship to do my degree. I am only in my early twenties but I have come to realised how important health is. Maybe it is because of what I am studying..

rachel said...

actually, i am in uni already.

sipuri said...

I believe it's ok to mistakes..but, sometimes, the hardest part to learn from the mistakes. But, good for you coz you know what you want to do at the end, as for me, I am still searching..at the age of 27 but still searching..seems pathetic right...

G3NG3N said...

ehhh.... wahhh.. i thought i dunno who the gengen is .. akkaka.. still remember me though... well .. i'm still learning ..for sure i knew you learning too !!! let's learning together-gather ~ teehee ... oh .. happy belated birthday ... sorry for it's late .. kakakkaka~

Swee Ping said...

I have! At times and hopefully not too late to mend things :-|

narrowband said...

Yes I have been wrong many times too. I thought scoring all those As would differentiate me from the pack but I realized we all end up in the same place anyway. That said, I have never regretted going the extra mile when I *believed* it'd do me more good than harm. (That's what I believeD, before realizing it was actually wrong to believe so)

So knowing that we've been wrong does not mean regretting what we've done! Given a choice, would I have chosen another path, would I have done anything differently? Yes to some of them, no to most of them.

erm said...

those young gun should read this

i know education credentials(degree/master/phd) does not put u on the very top
but still....it secure for a just nice salary(hahaha)

because most excellent example i see around me doesn't have those good education background

and those young gun actually making fun of people without a degree or a diploma

well,you could see a boy who drop school in form 3...earn 20k a month

and...it doesn't take a degree to do it BUT a degree would be a good based to recover if u fail

mar said...

I can understand all that cos we were brought up the same way - basically, to be/get the best...but yet,as you point out, it may not exactly be what guarantees our future and with time, you learn what truly matters in this short time we have before we return Home...
I am gonna be making a big move in my life very soon...I know not whether this will lead me to the future I want at the moment...I just leave that part to God and trust Him above all things...

khengsiong said...

When we were young, we traded health for wealth. When we get older, we trade wealth for health...

WY Kam 甘永元 said...

i think there's always tradeoff in life lah. we gain some when we lose some. no one wins it all (except the few). :) enjoy your life!

The Malaysian Life said...

I absolutely agree that there is more to life then work. Further, health is more important than money.

And a good academic degree doesn't guarantee a good life, these days. That formula, unfortunately, doesn't work anymore thanks to the 100s of degree mills...

ngy said...

Yes,

Countless of times.

Life can be a very humbling experience.

frostee said...

YEap... I have been wrong so many times. Am sure there would be many more to come to teach me a lesson or two. :)

jam said...

I guess there is nothing wrong here. Everybody has different expectations in different stages of life. What seems important before may not sound that important anymore as one grows elder.

zewt said...

lynnx01 - yes... health is the utmost important thing. and time spent with family... cant stress that enough.

rachel - well, degree is not everythin ok :)

sipuri - well, give yourself 3 more years :)

G3NG3N - of cos i remember u :)

swee ping - well, it's never too late so long you're willing to mend it.

narrowband - that's why i asked about the going back in time question not too long ago :)

erm - well, i think such thigns are only possible in this country. in other countries... if you dont have a paper, it's really bad.

zewt said...

mar - trust in Him... better place your trust in Him that anyone else :)

khengsiong - that is indeed a sad truth.

WY Kam - i certainly will.

The Malaysian Life - degree mills... hahaha... i like that!

ngy - but are you humbled?

frostee - but did you truly learn? :)

jam - it's all relative. we need to find out what is the utmost important thing.

u-jean said...

i don't think it's a question of wring or right. it's a matter of priority. as we grow older, our priorities change. things that used to matter will seem immaterial as we move on with life. imagine if you're still obsessed with PMR till now...

zewt said...

u-jean - good point... it's about priority. so now that i am working.... should i priotise work or family?

see said...

One thing I learnt in life after hitting 30 & drudgery of work is.....if you are not so bright, not so successful in life, you still got hope.....become a politician!

zewt said...

see - hello there! hahaha... you have got a point. if you wanna become one... concentrate on it right after SPM.