Achieving Happiness At Work (Pt 2)


Booking under: Nicole

After spending ten days in Japan, I feel energized and rejuvenated. My experience from this trip can be summarized by the following: great food, amazing scenery, friendly locals and of course my all time favorite company. This much-needed getaway gave me a good opportunity to just veg out, relax, and have a real break from all the work rituals. Now that the trip has ended, I have returned to my normal work routine. This time, the hectic schedule has helped me overcome the “post vacation hangover” pretty easily.

How did I ease the re-entry into my routine after a long vacation? Am I following my commitments well in March? Let’s check it out now!

1. Launch a Blog


My blogging essentials: cell phone and macbook.

Since starting our journey on A Booking For Two, I told myself that a new post has to be published every other Friday no matter how busy I am that week. I am happy to say that I have not slipped for any posts so far. Hopefully it’s not too early for me to say that (just kidding)! Once I have committed to do something, I am committed to keep my word and action on it. After coming back from the holiday, I was more swamped with work from multiple workstreams and honestly was already quite tired when I got home. There were days when my mind told me to write but my body said no and decided to switch off. I know I needed a better writing schedule so I figured a way to work around this.

When I commute to work or back home, I like to utilize this downtime to just think. Sometimes, it’s about the idea that I have for my sharing here. Whenever that came across my mind, I quickly jotted the bits and pieces down on my phone. Even just a few bullet points would help me generate the idea into words more efficiently and streamline the way I write. I have tried this method a few times and it worked well in a sense that being tired after work will not be much of an obstacle of my writing schedule and that each post can be uploaded in a timely manner.

2. Ask for Help


“Is it on the left after turning right at the next corner?”

This one is actually interesting to write about. I will start with our trip experience first. As I have mentioned before and I am sure you have encountered the same during your trips, asking locals for directions or general enquiries in the train station is almost inevitable. It happened to us too. Although language was the barrier (I wish we speak better Japanese), the locals there were really friendly and went the extra mile to help us out, which made me feel very appreciative of their kindness.

Back at work, the situation is a little upside down. During this trip, I received a few urgent requests from work asking for help which left me with no choice but to help people resolve the issues remotely on the spot. In terms of asking people for help, I do not recall any significant ones this week as I prefer trying to solve problems by myself first. Yet, I will constantly remind myself the importance of leveraging people’s expertise around me and asking for helping hands when it’s appropriate.

3. Work Smart


My favorite desk setting. 

I wish I could take a picture of my work desk and show you. Unfortunately, we are told not to take pictures of any corner in the office so I can only adhere to the company policy. So while the idea of photo proof does not work, I guess you will have to trust what I say below 🙂 My desk is fairly tidy except for keeping some goodies that I brought from Japan to share with my colleagues. My desk became a matcha snacks corner for  a day but it has resumed to its original setting after the food was gone. In my last post, I mentioned that one way to work smart is to color-code the tools. When I turned to the right side of my desk, it was all full of green packaged food which was a treat for the eyes. I guess I should have said not only color coding the tools but also the food too (unintentionally this time)!

4. Enjoy Now


Osaka at its finest with this unpopular running man.

My commitment for this topic is not only to enjoy the current status but to also actively plan for the future. Speaking of now, I am thankful for having a safe and enjoyable trip with my loved one, exploring the cultural and artsy side of another country and getting some good rest over the holiday. Work-wise, I just had a positive and meaningful conversation with my supervisor which set a good tone for me to aim higher professionally. Success comes down to hard work and it motivates me to work harder and stay focused to reach where I want to get to in the future. While the plan may be altered over the course of life, it’s always good to be foresighted and start planning early to secure a better future.

From Last Month

Quickly summarizing how I did in the commitments carried over from February. While Keith and I were away, I kept on showing my gratitude and giving proofs of love to him through small gestures and gifts. As for fighting right, I do not recall any arguments between us or with other people in general but remain mindful to respect different perspectives when disagreement arises. Back at work, a colleague did a good job in handling a piece of work during my absence so I gave effective praises to recognize her work and boost morale.

Summing Up

summing up2

It’s already the end of March now, meaning we have almost passed one fourth of 2016. Looking back, my commitments this month were smoothly managed and executed well. Going forward, I am committed to continue what I am already doing in these four areas in my day to day work and personal life and will also look for ways to improve more and challenge myself better at work.

One fourth of the year down and we are excited for the upcoming sharings and takeaways in the remaining nine months. In April, we will be discussing Lighten Up under the theme of parenthood which I personally find very engaging. If you have anything on your mind regarding Aim Higher or any other previous topics, feel free to share with us at We wish you a happy Easter with your friends and family. Enjoy the holidays!


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