Goodbye, 2015.

To say 2015 was a testing year for me is an understatement.

Admitedly, it was a bitter-sweet year and whilst it wasn't a great one, it was not all bad either. It started promisingly and before it reached the halfway mark, it became clear to me that it wouldn't have the kind of ending I wanted and hoped for.

As the days and months progressed, I knew I was up against the same old problem that is affecting and decaying the Malaysian workforce, especially the Malays. They are still not accustomed to competing, they still expect some form of privilege and handouts, they still have the "us against them" paradigm, and worst, they still have the unfathomable attitude that it's alright to be mediocre, and so long as it's within the confines of the "us against them" sycophantic world they live in, mediocrity even pays.

But there is always a silver lining to every test that come our way. In my case, it was the opportunity to inspire - and be inspired in the process - by those who stood out amongst the small minded and mediocre people; these very few allowed me to continue to stay hungry, to stay foolish, to dream, to believe that all is not lost despite the mediocrity that I was forced to lived with during the first half of the year. They made me realize that whilst one man couldn't change a decades-old mediocrity, he could do something bigger, something better.

And that's what I resolved to do.

I knew I didn't want to be just a number in the GLC-clog; that I wanted to, as my dear friend @saladinMY always espouses with conviction, do something that would make a difference.

Unlike before, I began to choose what to accept. Some of my choices had been unconventional, e.g. I accepted a gig that didn't pay at all because I believed in what they were trying to achieve. Similarly, I also took on a lucrative gig, so lucrative that it is going to pay me the equivalent of a 2-year pay with my old organization, and I took it on because it presented the opportunity to build a Brand from scratch.

I guess unlike most people, the older I get the less I care about choosing financial stability as the fundamental basis of which works to commit to, taking instead those that offered me the best intellectual challenge and satisfaction.

As I said, unconventional choices.

A n y w a y s . . . 

Just when I thought I was ready to be part of an organization once more, fate had a funny way of telling me that I'm not. I could have fulfilled a lifetime dream (I could still though should I choose to) of joining the one organization that I've always wanted to be part of, but in doing, so I would be relegated to just being the poster boy and rubber stamp of what I know are going to be some lousy campaigns, and I didn't want to be only that.

And too, fulfilling my dream meant disappointing some of those who inspired me. The position didn't come with a carte blanche on whom I can bring with me and that put me in a difficult position as there were a few individuals I wanted to bring with me. Some have argued that I should be selfish and prioritize myself but I couldn't bring myself to leave the people who steadfastly stood by me behind, I just coudn't.

Sometime in the 3rd quarter, I was presented with an opportunity to work for the biggest financial organization in the country. And they were willing to allow me to bring the people I wanted to bring. But that didn't pan out because someone close to me screwed it up. Albeit slightly disappointed, as the days passed, I realized that it was what was good for me. Had I committed to spending years of my life with that organization, I wouldn't truly be happy professionally. I mean, sure it was a good gig, it paid good, and I could do wonders but in hindsight, when I stood back and looked at what I was giving up, it dawned on me that I was so much more and that I could do so much more.

And I promised myself that come 2016 that is just what I will do.

I also promised myself that I will take better care of my health in the new year. I've always known that I am not the most healthy person in the world but my approach when I'm working makes me forget that.

As 2016 stares at us, all I want to do is welcome and embrace it with the warmest embrace I can muster, to continue to hope for things and people who are worth it, to continue to make a difference in whatever I choose to do and be with, to continue to dream, to learn from my mistakes and finally realize that most people are not worth saving, and most of all, to continue to stay foolish and hungry in order to make things happen.

Happy New Year, y'all.


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