Sex and The New Year’s Resolution

I am sure everybody is now busy with their new year’s resolution and goals. Many would be hitting the gym and starting their diets. I would like to talk about something a bit taboo in Malaysia – sex and your new Year’s Resolution.

This is a subject that would make many people squirm in their seats or even uncomfortable. Well, whether you like it or not, we are biological entities with sexual behavior. Here are the 10 things you need to fix in your New Year’s Resolution for your sexual health:

  1. Check your health for STI and HIV. For those in a monogamous relationship, no harm in checking as well.
  2. Check your sexual reproduction organs – do you know what a healthy reproductive organ looks or smells like? Go to the doctor and check it out.
  3. Talk more about sex. Not to the random person, but to the relevant person. Sex is definitely worth talking about; sharing feelings and concerns with your partner promotes better sexual health – both mentally and physically. In some cases, talking to a professional maybe of help too.
  4. Make this the year to know more about HIV and AIDS. Even though we have completed the second decade of the 21st century, you will be surprised the lack of knowledge on these two diseases. Understand the facts about transmission, symptoms, treatment and where to access information and support are important for protecting you and your sexual partner(s).
  5. If you have a steady partner or in a monogamous relationship, more orgasms and sex.
  6. A healthy sex life can promote a range of health benefits, both physically and emotionally. Learn more on how you can make to most of your sex life and keep healthy.
  7. Kegel! Both men and women can improve their sexual fitness by exercising their pelvic floor muscles.
  8. Nite away – go away for one night with your significant other and just enjoy the night being in each other’s company
  9. Find a hobby or lessons together to ignite that relationship and focus together.
  10. And finally, if you have a steady partner or in a monogamous relationship, more orgasms and sex.

The above resolution applies for both men and women, married or otherwise. If we want to live a well rounded, complete and balanced life, every aspect of our lives need to be taken care. So, enjoy 2020!

Biryani for the Soul (6): Too Much of Anything is Good For Nothing

I had the opportunity to spend about 12 days in Bangkok, Thailand last year. I was attending a course and so I booked a room in the same hotel as the course. Incidentally, the hotel was in Soi Sukhumvit 13, which was the centre of all things Biryani. Indian Restaurants serving biryani was everywhere and all of them were within walking distance.

As expected, being the avid biryani fan, I started the first day with Mutton Biryani from a restaurant. The second day was Chicken Biryani and on the third day, I had Prawn Biryani. That was the routine every day, till day five. I couldn’t.

I just couldn’t take another plate of Biryani. I couldn’t even think about Biryani. I was in Biryani Heaven, but had over dosed on Biryani!

The same applies in our life.

We strive for excellence every day and we move towards success. But in most cases, we tend to define “having more” as success. We become entrapped in this cycle, so much so that we believe that the more we have, the more successful we are. That could not be farther from the truth.

Now, do not misunderstand. I am not implying that you should have mediocre standards or stop pursuing excellence and success. Instead, I am suggesting that we should not associate “things” and material possessions as a measure of our success.

Our success should be measured based on our efforts and hard work. It should be measured based on how we have grown.

If we were to attach success to the quantity of material possessions, we will never to be able to reap the true benefits of success – our personal growth and peace.

I can have all the biryani I want in Bangkok, but too much of it is meaningless. Biryani is special because we appreciate the occasional indulgence.

Too Much of Anything is Good For Nothing – Anonymous

Similarly, appreciate and enjoy the fruits of success. Remember, success is the strategy, happiness is the goal.

Biryani For The Soul (5): It’s not the Quantity, It’s the Quality

I think it was the summer of 2008, I travelled to Chennai, India for a work. I checked into the hotel, arranged my baggage and immediately stepped out. The hunt for Biryani has begun.

So I hailed a tuk-tuk (or Auto, as they are called in India), and asked him to take me to the best halal biryani restaurant. I am a risk taker. So, he took me to a small restaurant in the Mannady District, specifically near the Hazrat Hassan Maulana Dargah.

As I stepped out of the tuk-tuk, I can immediately smell the fragrant aroma of biryani.  The smell went deep inside my soul and ignited a flurry of emotions. I can see content faces leaving the restaurant and eager faces entering it.

Biryani is best eaten with company. So, I asked the tuk-tuk driver to join me and I will treat him the biryani. He agreed.

We stepped into the restaurant, took a table and ordered. I ordered Chicken Biryani while my new found friend ordered Mutton Biryani. Within a few minutes, the dishes came and I was immediately blown away. It was a huge plate. Four people can eat that amount, by Malaysian standards. I couldn’t even fathom finishing the dish.

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I looked at my new friend and asked how many people were supposed to eat that amount. He simply replied, “One”. Apparently, in India, the portions are huge.

However, it wasn’t only the quantity that surprised me, but also the quality of the biryani. It was an out-of-this-world experience. Every spice and rice mixed well to completely indulge your taste buds.

I was lucky – I received both a huge quantity as well as good quality. But in life, this isn’t always true. When we quantify the time that we spend here on earth, it is a limited period. Everyone receives a different amount of time to live, but everyone gets an equal 24 hours in a day.

The quantity of 24 hours in a day is given to every one of us and it is equal and fixed. It has not changed for billions of year and most likely will not change for another billion years. The question is, what do we do with this quantity of time?

Since the quantity is fixed, we need to use the time given to us in the most valuable manner. It has to be quality time.

Just like biryani, the quantity was fixed. But the chef didn’t pinch on the ingredient. The chef poured his heart and soul to make the best biryani.

Similarly, in life, we expect a lot of everything. We want a lot of time with our children, we want a lot of money, we want a lot of everything! More, more and more.

In my youth, it was always the question of “How much more can I get?”, not “What is sufficient?”. It was always a question of “How can I maximize this?”, not “Am I happy with this?”. I defined success as “more is successful”. Today, I define success as “being happy”.

So, in order for us to make anything into something of quality, we need to ask ourselves, “Does this make me happy?” And I found, in most cases throughout my life, the answer is quite straightforward. The difficult part is decision that follows.

Some people are stuck in jobs that they despise and be miserable the entire day, for more money and career progression. And they drag themselves through life.

So, in life and in most cases, we are presented with many choices that guarantees us more of something. Before you make that choice, ask yourself, “Will this make me happy?” And I know the choices will be quite clear. That is when you begin to enjoy a quality life.

The point of the biryani story is to illustrate that the quality of life is determined by your happiness. For me, my happiness is when I get delicious biryani for half the price!

Biryani for the Soul (4): Yesterday’s Biryani Is Not the Same as Today’s

A day old biryani. Need I say more? Even if you refrigerated it, it will never taste the same. Microwave it, heat it, do whatever you want with it. The freshness, the aroma, the soft bite of the basmati rice is gone forever. To me, if you have leftover biryani, you have committed blasphemy.

As yesterday’s biryani will remains in the past, today’s biryani will always be fresh. Such is life. Yesterday, has gone away, irrevocably. It will never come back. But today is still fresh. You can chart what will happen today.

You might have heard, frequently or not, the saying “be better than yesterday”. Now, this is a principle that we should follow and definitely worthwhile to discuss.

The simplicity of that saying underplays the importance of the message. Being better than yesterday implies many things. One of which is that if you successfully robbed a sundry shop yesterday, you should do better today by robbing a bank. Though, technically, it is an improvement, but the message is saying for the betterment of everyone – you, your family, society and environment.

So, the correct interpretation would be thus. If you successfully robbed a sundry shop yesterday, you should do better today by regretting the action and solemnly declare never to rob again. The saying is meant to inch you towards improvement.

So, what is improvement? How do we measure it?

I won’t go into the Oxford definition of improvement. But I will share with you my thoughts.

Improvement, to me, is essentially to advance yourself every day to be a better human being. And we become better human beings when we shed our negativity, enhance our relationships and contribute to the society. It has to be wholesome.

But how do we measure improvement? Who do we compare to?

Compare yourself to no one. You measure improvement on yourself. You compare your performance yesterday with your performance today. Let me illustrate.

I go to the gym every day. I want to be healthy and build muscles. Instead of comparing my bench press weights to Arnold Schwarzenegger bench press weights, I simply measure my progress.

I started my gym with a weak 15kg bench press weight at 3 sets of 8 reps. Then, I pushed the next day with the same weight, but at 3 sets of 12 reps. Then, I increased my bench press weight to 20kg. And the cycle continued for four months, when I was at 90kg bench press weight.

The entire process was a competition between me of yesterday with me of today. I charted my “today” to do better than I did yesterday. Today’s biryani is always fresh.

Biryani for the Soul (3): Remove Toxic People

Have you ever had someone in your life that literally drains you emotionally and physically? Someone that really is the embodiment of negativity? The one that always spearheads the medieval ancient thoughts in your head? Well, you are not alone. These people are toxic and we always encounter them in our lives.

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If you want to identify a toxic person in your life, go down this checklist:

  1. Those who spread negativity. This person is the epic symbol of negativity. He/She is negative and will not be happy till others are negative as well.
  2. Those who criticize you all the time. These people make Simon Cowell look like an angel.
  3. Those who waste your time. Be careful, they just drain your time with nothing fruitful – not even a meaningful relationship.
  4. Those who are jealous.
  5. Those who play victim. No matter how the situation could be handled, these people love to see themselves as victims of circumstances – and most likely blame others for their failures.
  6. Those who don’t care.
  7. Those who are self-centered.
  8. Those who keep disappointing you. Broken promises so often, it becomes a lifestyle.

Their toxicity is contagious.

It’s amazing how quickly things turn around when you remove toxic people from your life. – Robert Tew

Avoid them. Get rid of them from your life. It will be the hardest thing to do, but when you do it, you will see your life turn round.

Make the hard choice and remove them.

Remember this. Cutting people out of your life does not mean you hate them. It just means you respect and love yourself. Not everyone is meant to be in your life.