Title: Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones
Author: James Clear
As I transitioned into this “new life” – The CB Life – I started to feel the need to create new habits for myself. Like everyone else, we needed to find something new to do, read more, start cooking, exercise daily. But the difficulty was sticking to it. I would write these goals down but never managed to keep these habits consistent.
Coincidentally, I stumbled upon this book titled Atomic Habits by James Clear and one statement that stuck in my head was that “habits are a reflection of your identity”. This changed my perspectives on seeing habits. Instead of looking at them as checkboxes, I saw them as beliefs that enforces my identity. So, to effectively form/break habits, could I look at what I identity with myself first instead of focusing purely on the action. Rather than thinking “start running daily” could I think “What would a healthy person do?” There are more interesting insights in the book, and I do encourage everyone to read it. It has inspired me to see habits as a way of life working towards a better you.
Betty Crocker’s Brownies
Similarly to what everyone was doing during the circuit breaker period, I too tried to bake from scratch. Looking through recipes online, it looked pretty easy and with the right ingredients and measuring tools in place, what could go wrong? Unfortunately when one is not blessed with the “golden touch”, I ended up throwing away batches of bland banana pancakes, awful tasting muffins and oh-too-sweet chocolate chip cookies. So when these ready mixes started appearing on supermarket shelves, I grab a few and threw them into my basket. When I finally baked these brownies, my no.2 exclaimed “Mummy, these are the best that you have baked!”. And I said: ” Of course they are, because these are Betty Crocker’s brownies and not Ebelle Chong’s brownies!”. #epicbakefails
Title: Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood
Author: Trevor Noah
A light-hearted novel, with some serious life lessons masked by humour. Trevor Noah brings us on his journey into adulthood while living in the aftermath of the apartheid. My favourite quote from the book is: Nelson Mandela once said, ‘If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.’ He was so right. When you make the effort to speak someone else’s language, even if it’s just basic phrases here and there, you are saying to them, ‘I understand that you have a culture and identity that exists beyond me. I see you as a human being. And it intrigues me that we separate ourselves because of the languages we speak.