Friday, October 31, 2008

Back to Golf

Last night I attended a Focus Group meeting at IBM. It was a PMI sponsored meeting where I get to earn 2 PDUs. It was a good session where we were divided into groups and reported on a case study of a yacht race in Australia. I like to attend meetings like these because it's a wise and good use of time to develop oneself. It is similar to the Toastmaster's experience where one does not need to spend much to learn new skills. I enjoy these meetings although sometimes I feel lazy to attend. But if it were not for these events I would be insular, drinking and having fun instead of focusing on self-improvement. I wish I discovered these events earlier in my life here in Singapore.

During the PMI session, I received an SMS message from a golf buddy inviting me to join their game on Sunday. I said yes although I haven't played for nearly a year. So this morning I went to the driving range and hit about 150 balls. I have not lost the touch although I still have some bad habits I think. I want to enroll for a 8 lesson course with a golf pro to raise me to the next level. I enjoyed my morning at the driving range, leaving the house at about 6:30 am. No one was around and I enjoyed hitting the balls alone. It was quite some time since my last practice at the Bishan golf range. In my last few golf outings, I preferred to play at Mandai because it has a 9-hole course where I could enjoy a game.

While I was hitting the balls, I had a chance to think about the recent work at the office. All the changes and the challenges have occupied my mind and prevented me from enjoying golf. In the early days of my transfer here, I often forced myself to play golf to remove my mind from focusing on work. These thoughts often stressed me even at home and I took to drink and watching movies to divert my self. So I actively pursued golf for it's enjoyment and also to combat my stress at work. I think I succeeded and I educated myself on the game. But now I reached a point where my handicap is much to high despite playing on and off for about 5 years. So I have decided to learn from a golf pro to polish my game and give me a certain amount of respect as my friend always beat me in the game.

I am also thinking of studying sailing. It will be a new adventure and I hope to be certified before I transfer to my new overseas assignment. The economy is not looking good in the coming months and sometimes I wonder if it's wise to continue to spend on things like guitar lessons or golf or sailing. I think it is an investment and a necessity to maintain my edge and keep me relevant. Otherwise, I don't think I will be able to cope with the new challenges the come at me at work. The mind and one's attitude is the only weapon one can wield in this era of globalization and outsourcing. It will drive you to learn new skills and stay relevant.

I am already having dreams about my new life. I feel strongly that it will push through unlike my previous feelings on the possible transfer to China. I had the same feeling but it was not as concrete and centered like my feelings on the new overseas assignment. Maybe it's because the first was shrouded in the shadows where one had to rely on rumours and chance remarks from the bosses. Now the news has come from people at a higher level and I had a chance to meet them by phone. So the feeling and prospects are more solid. I thank God because I feel that I am deteriorating in my work these past months and it's only by my initiative and curiosity that I keep myself interested and relevant.

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