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The Singapore Law Gazette

Me and Us

As 2018 begins and the Law Gazette enters into its first online edition published solely by the Law Society, I have some wishes for the new year ahead.

The focus of 2018 is myself and the Wife. Both of us tend to place work and others first before ourselves. In the daily hustle and bustle of life, we simply forget about ourselves and our own needs.

The first wish is to keep calm, cool and collected. This is difficult for an emotive, sensitive and anxious man like myself. I had a young female legal associate in my firm who I still envy. She is the epitome of calmness. Nothing seems to upset her. She was of no help when I wanted to know the secret to her serendipity, which I always wanted to know from people like her who I look up to and tell myself I want to emulate. The obvious reason of personality is inadequate to me. I am still seeking the secret to calmness this year.

Patience is another virtue that evades me. I joke that I have only a fixed quota of patience every day which depletes fast. Yoga, mindfulness and just sheer practice come to mind as some ways to learn patience.

The third wish is to work less and play more. A friend who moved to the United States asked me over coffee recently, “What do you do for play?” He is an avid sportsman even in his 40s, and I just looked at him sheepishly. It hit me that I really do not do anything for fun. Come weekend, I play the role of a weekend husband and son spending time with the Wife, parents and in-laws. The Wife and I have decided to engage in couple activities this year. We just must remember to find and engage in them.

Towards the end of 2017, I just lost the motivation and drive to work hard. I started working less, even though the workload continued to be heavy. The sky did not fall on me and life continued to be the same. Taking work less seriously is sometimes good for the mind and soul.

Putting myself in another person’s shoes to understand them better is another quality I wish to cultivate this year. Better understanding will, I hope, reduce any negative feelings I may have towards them.

Maintaining good mental health is another must to me. Recently a client commented that the work of family lawyers is difficult as we are constantly handling emotional and difficult clients. Every one of us has some form of mental health issues to cope with. Often, we are not aware of nor acknowledge these issues. Becoming aware of my mental health issues and learning to handle them has been one of the best gifts I have received during the last four years. I learnt the importance of self care – being kind to myself, treating myself well, giving importance to my feelings and desires. Inner peace and happiness gives strength and positivity to deal with everyday life.

The use of positive language is another habit I wish to continue to work on this year. Phrases such as being busy, having no time and complaints, to me, do not reinforce a positive mindset or broaden the horizon of possibilities to achievements.

I hope my enthusiasm will still continue and my wishes will come true as the year goes on. If it does, only one thing matters – the Wife and I.

Rajan Chettiar LLC
E-mail: [email protected]