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Showing posts from July, 2016

This is the Worst Day of My Life

If there is one thing that you can do today to be more happy is to mind your language.

Bad things happen to everybody. No exceptions. But that is not the issue, the issue is when bad things happen, what language do we use to describe the situation to ourselves?

Why does it matter how we describe it? Well, it matters because your description will affect how intensely you feel about it. Problem is, we are usually emotional when bad things happen and our emotions have a tendency to exaggerate things.

For example, you received a bad mark in your exam. You might say, “This is the worst day of my life!” Or, maybe you don’t say it, but you are thinking in that direction. The description you just made will affect your feelings about it. You will feel as if it is the worst day of your life.

But then, you might be thinking, “Well, I know that. I don’t mean it literally. Duh!” I know you know, and I know you know I know. But we are talking about emotions.

Our emotions don’t care about literal o…

Do I Need to Know Grammar?

Yes and no.

Like any Malaysian students undergoing English education in school, I learnt grammar in class. But I didn't quite get it. Perhaps it's my fault. Perhaps it's the system's fault. I don't know. But even after learning grammar in class, I can't fully explain grammar when people ask me to explain.

So at that age, I learnt grammar mainly by recognizing patterns. I was exposed to a lot of English growing up (e.g. songs, movies, TV shows, etc) and all the exposure enabled me to catch the patterns of the language.

Just by listening and recognizing, I know grammar without knowing what grammar is. Because if you ask me why a sentence is the way it is, I can't answer that. But I do know that the sentence is either correct or not.

So without formally learning grammar, you can still know grammar - like a child. A child who is just beginning to learn how to speak can speak with correct grammar (most of the time) without sitting in a grammar class.

Is the c…

Top 5 English Youtube Channels You Should Subscribe To

If you are like me, a non-native English speaker, you might want to improve your English speaking skill. I am still improving mine. In that effort, you might want to know what good English speaking sources are good enough to refer to.

Let be honest: not all sources are created equal - there are good ones, and there are not-so-good ones.

This is not just for English, but for virtually anything. As wise consumers, we owe it to ourselves to filter all the resources available and only take in the good ones. Just like how we choose food for our body, that is exactly how we should choose food for our mind.

Hopefully, we don't eat junk food too much - for the body or for the mind.

To improve English speaking, we want to listen to good English speakers speak so that we can copy them in their pronunciation, diction, and grammar. Listening and copying are my two secrets into how to improve English speaking.

In this blog post, I want to share my top 5 English Youtube channel I find to be goo…

3 Things to Know About My 4th Book

So far, I have written three books and I am now in the process of writing my fourth. Unlike the previous three, I wanted the fourth one to be special and personal. So I intend on sharing my writing process with you.

As a start, allow me to share with you three key things you need to know about my upcoming book:

1. What is it about?

This past Ramadan, I have been slowly compiling my writings about my experience as a new father. It is a collection of a handful of my experiences being a parent for the first year of my son's life.

There are two main reasons why I wanted to write this book:
These are the things I wish I knew when I was singleI don't want to forget them now that I am a parent
There are many valuable lessons during my experience that are essential to remember. Many of these lessons are ones we can't learn in our single life; we have to experience it first hand to know what it is like. Having said that, it doesn't take away from the importance of writing it down…

Hashtags Are Not Enough

Our last days of Ramadan is bittersweet, more bitter than sweet, as the news of our brothers and sisters (in faith and in humanity) are attacked by a group claiming to represent Islam, but couldn't be further from its teachings.

Just because you have the word "Islam" in the group name, it doesn't necessarily mean that you represent it. Call it whatever you want. Use whatever label you want, be it an Arabic one. At the end of the day, it is not Islam.

But when you say that, a question arises, "If that's not Islam, then what is?" It is a fair question that needs answering, not with words but with actions. People need to see Islam because so far, they haven't seen enough of it to drown out the hate.

It is on the shoulder of every Muslim men and women to show Islam. Hiding away in our comfort zones is not an option. Complaining is a luxury we can no longer afford. Pointing fingers is a pointless act we shouldn't engage in anymore.

Either we are a pa…

How My Family Spent Our Ramadan 2016

Throughout the month of ‪Ramadan‬, Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan has dedicated his time to explain in detail Surah al-Baqarah. He dives into the Surah with such depth and makes the Surah come to life with his relevant examples in today's life.

You can watch all the free recordings of Surah al-Baqarah's explanations here: bayyinah.org

In the beginning, he mentioned that Surah al-Baqarah is like a summary of the entire religion of Islam; that if you were to understand Surah al-Baqarah, then insha Allah you would understand the core messages of Islam.

Our Ramadan Focus This Year

My wife and I have been passively listening to all the livestreamings, while doing housework and taking care of our son. It is pretty hard to focus 100% with a baby around, but Alhamdulillah we still manage to benefit immensely from it.

Our entire Ramadan has been revolving around these livestreamings. It is a blessing that we have so many different initiatives in the month of Ramadan, but too many can be over…

3 Unrealistic Expectations That Fuel Your Fear of Mistakes

Fear of making mistakes, fear of being laughed at, fear of rejection, fear of judgment, fear of not being good enough, or any other fears are all real and should be acknowledged, but many of them, if not all of them, are unreasonable.

One of the many possible reasons why those fears are unreasonable is because they stem from having a unrealistic expectations of themselves, of others, and/or of life in general.

They expect themselves to be perfect, which is impossible. This expectation leads us to be ungrateful for being good enough because their perfectionism form the thought that they will never be good enough.

They expect to be able to please others, which is highly unlikely. This expectation leads us to think that we can somehow control people's reactions to us and as a result, we always end up in the same spot - discontent.

They expect life to be easy, which is delusional. This expectation leads us to be heedless of the possibility of hardship and as a result, we don't prepar…