Finding my balance

There are three categories of people. Those who identify a problem, talk elaborately about it but do nothing to change the situation. They hope that the problem would be solved by someone else, so they walk away. Next, we have people who have identified the problem, but they pretend that it does not exist. They just ignore it. Lastly, we have those that recognise the problem, evaluate it critically, determine the best approach for tackling it and go all out to solve it. I call this group of people the “problem-solvers”, and I like to think that I belong to that class. Since I commenced my PhD programme, a skill which I have come to appreciate more is creative problem-solving. It entails identifying a challenge, then finding the most innovative way to tackle it within the shortest possible time and with the available resources. This, in reality, is what research demands and in fact, it is a life skill that is highly required for survival.

Balance 1

“Life is not designed to make things easy for us, but present challenges that help us grow.”Terry Laughlin

“The challenge is that the day before something is truly a breakthrough, it’s a crazy idea. And crazy ideas are very risky to attempt.” —  Peter Diamandis


Stepping out of my “comfort zone” to commence my PhD programme was a huge step for me – I believe we can relate to this because everyone has at some point taken such dips into the “unknown”. To say the least, for the first few months, I felt imbalanced. Imbalanced because I had always found that I was more productive and creative when I had some positive distractions around me –  and I had none. I discovered this productivity hack serendipitously some years ago when I started my handcrafts, which like my desire to pursue a career in science was a childhood hobby. I found that it helped me express myself, not just creatively but in every other way, while putting my time to productive use. So yeah, I had identified a challenge which needed to be urgently and creatively addressed: my life felt very triangular (school-church-home), and it seemed I had lost myself.

Balance 2

“If you cannot find peace within yourself, you will never find it anywhere else.”Marvin Gaye

“People have to learn who they are — you can’t have somebody else telling you who you are.”Hale Irwin


These days, I find writing to be a great productivity booster. My inspiration to start writing here was borne out of many things. First, a passion for telling a compelling story that would inspire. I believe everyone has a voice that the world needs to hear. I think sharing our life experiences is an excellent way to leave an indelible mark on the lives of others and create memories that would outlive us. By empowering others to find themselves, we discover the core of our being. Months ago, I never would have believed I could be doing this. I always knew that I had a flair for writing but never to this scale. This new-found hobby has dramatically improved my confidence in my writing (both creative and technical writing). It has also helped me to express myself better and crystallise my ideas. As a child, I was always told that “all work and no play made Pearl a dull girlie”. There is no dispute regarding the amount of work I currently have to deal with….but play?? yeah, I have found it – my balance!

Balance 3

“Do what is inside you”George Lucas

“He who has a ‘why’ to live for can bear almost any ‘how’”Friedrich Nietzsche


I aim to write here as frequently as I can – once a month at the barest minimum – and on a variety of subjects, especially from my experience as a PhD student. I hope you enjoy reading this…and you find your balance!


Categories: My lifestyle

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