From The Straits Times    |

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Q: I’ve always loved my job, but I now have a new micromanaging boss who’s making work quite unpleasant. Still, as the adage goes: Most people don’t leave their jobs, but their bosses. What do you think I should do? Quit this job I love, or learn how to manage them better? Or is there an option three?

Definitely go with option three! You have one right? No? Disaster! You’re right about the adage that people leave their bosses. Jobs are manageable; some people not so much.

That said, there really is an option three. When there is conflict between two people, 90 per cent of the time, no one is coming from a bad place. This could be the case with your boss. Maybe it’s time to initiate a chat with them, and let them know you don’t do well being micromanaged, and that you prefer to work in a different way. There’s a real possibility your new boss thinks their actions are helping you, so maybe they’ll be happy to realise they need to back off and let you do you.

Q: I just returned from studying overseas, and I am finding it hard to readjust to living with my traditional parents. I am thinking of moving out, but how should I manage the situation?

You should manage this like the emotional minefield that it is, tiptoeing and knowing that every step could be your last. Just kidding.

Honestly, when it’s time to move out of your parents’ home, it’s time to move out. You’ve embraced independence abroad and want it at home. It’s not a bad thing at all. That’s what you need to explain to your parents: The time has come for you to build something of yourself, and that means moving out. They might even embrace having more free time; and hey, you can visit them any time.

Is having children the key to happiness?

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Now that I’m a father, a lot of happiness is linked to my boy. Watching him grow up and learn new things, I find myself smiling while just being in his presence. That being said, do I think that having a kid is the key to happiness?

No. Not at all. Having a kid is the key to fatigue. Happiness lies elsewhere. Happiness is a choice. You can’t get your happiness from outside factors. You can’t get happiness from material things, from money, from love, or even from your child. You have to choose happiness.

And to be fair, it’s an easy choice not to make. Our lives are stressful. We’re trying to do a million things at once, and it’s overwhelming. All of us are at different levels of alienation, all of us are ultimately alone, and with the media constantly bombarding us with the message that we’re not good enough, these factors can weigh a person down.

But the happiest people I’ve known are the ones who know all this, but still manage to smile at a clear blue sky, a sunset, or the daily absurdity of existence. Every second of life is a gift – even if you’re spending that second toiling away at your job. If you can be grateful and find happiness in those small things, then you can find immense joy in the bigger things, like having a kid.