• info@barristars.com


Summarised notes on tips on how to create a better UX experience for your users

June 13, 2019, by barry ng

The Gift of Parenthood

May 12, 2019, by barry ng

Parenthood is a gift of a new life, a responsibility that you will have to undertake for the rest of your life. It is also known as one of the most challenging and yet most rewarding experiences to be a parent. Being mentally and physically ready is something you really need to be mindful of.


Think about all the leisure activities you once had. You were able to take some time off and go for a quick getaway, go for a nice pampering spa session, the financial ability to buy the latest gizmo and gadgets, or even had the option to binge-watching all day.

As a parent now, I guess chances are (very) limited now. But don’t worry, there are still pockets of time that you can tap on, especially when they are asleep. But, do get sufficient rest so you have the energy to take care of your kids. So many people I knew could only tell me to treasure the time spent with your children because you cannot turn time back. The best part of this irony is when you do something alone, you kind of feel empty without your children.

Parenthood is a gift of life.


Your child is like a thirsty sponge. He/she is constantly developing and absorbing things that are occurring within the environment. They repeat whatever words that you say, mimic your actions that you were doing. They can’t differentiate between right or wrong, let alone understanding whatever values or beliefs that you are imposing on them. Mine climbs into the bathtub partially clothed, leaves half eaten bread at the corner of the table, plays with toys in a more creative way and even messes around with the cooking utensils. Each time they do something wrongly, be patient with them and impart the right values.

The development of a child is not solely based on his ability to play well in a sport, nor is it on being the top of the class. It’s a healthy blend of cognitive, psychomotor and socio-constructivism. In plain English, our children need a great mix of activities that spark their curiosity together and get their hands dirty doing it. The blend also entails a journey of hardship, failures and joy.


You’ll never be a parent until your child hates you at least once.

There will be times where your child will fail and you reprimand them for it. But with each mistake, he/she makes, give them a second chance (even a third chance). They might make irrational choices that they couldn’t explain, educate them on the right values is important.

Most importantly, remember the prefrontal cortex doesn’t fully develop until the age of 25. According to the peeps at the Science of Psychotherapy:

The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is the cerebral cortex covering the front part of the frontal lobe. This brain region has been implicated in planning complex cognitive behaviour, personality expression, decision making, and moderating social behaviour.

The Science of Psychotherapy

That explains why we can be a little rebellious when we’re a little younger. It also informs us that we should be mindful of certain behaviours that our child is experiencing, whether it is anger, sadness or even happiness. Be a little more patient, less emotional and it will help you go a long way.

Hope is the most powerful word in the English dictionary. –

Michael Crossland


The importance of teamwork between your spouse and yourself.

Parenting is hardly a one-person affair. It’s a shared responsibility between both. At times, give your spouse a breather when he/she needs it. Even with your spouse helping, you’ll definitely experience some burnout here and there. Don’t expect yourself to achieve everything when you have kids, let alone getting them dressed on time.

You’ll be sinking from time to time, so ask for help if you need it.

If you need additional help, do try to ask for it. And if you are the person people turn to for help, just know that they have a lot of trust in you. They entrusted their loved ones to you for a reason, if you are available, do help them out. As for me, I am thankful to have great support from everyone around me when I was working and studying at the same time. But do remember this from time to time:

It takes a village to raise a kid.

An African proverb


You got some stuff to do now…

As a parent, do your part to read up on various areas on how to develop your children and nurture them well. You have a huge responsibility as the first role model that your child looks up to. I recommend you to read up on these:

  • Sleep training (from 9-11 weeks)
  • Behavioural changes in each stage (Especially 1-2 years old)
  • Eating dos and don’t (From 6 Months)
  • Playing with your child( what activities according to the age groups

And your to-do list includes:


Simple Learning Points from Final Fantasy X

April 19, 2019, by barry ng

Playing games has been a common sight in our lives these days. Some of us use it as a method to distress, while others use it to get away from reality. The gaming experience has reached new heights, moving from personal experience to a more social experience that everyone gets to enjoy. This is with the help of technology advancement and better connectivity around the world. In Singapore, gamers are spending more time playing video games than their counterparts in Japan and South Korea.

We’re spending an average of 7.44 hours on gaming each week, beating the global average of 7.11 hours. In employee engagements, several Gamification platforms(such as Gametize), have emerged to provide new ways of engaging employees through reward systems and the relevant motivation.

Having said that, the purpose of this post has provided me with a new perspective in life and how I look at things.


Final Fantasy 10 released in 2001. A Single Player Role Playing Game

This is a single player game that I enjoyed during my secondary school days on the PlayStation 2 console in 2001. The story begins with Tidus, a sports star from the futuristic metropolis called Zanarkand. During a match, Tidus gets swept up to another world(Spira) and joins summoner Yuna on her journey to save the world of Spira from a rampaging monster known as Sin. Making their way toward the mythical Zanarkand while running into the corrupt undercurrent of Spira’s society, Tidus holds onto the hope he will one day find his way back home.


During the pilgrimage, Tidus discovers that Yuna, the person he treasures and adores will die after obtaining the final Aeon. He insisted that there’s a way out to help Yuna avoid dying even though he is clueless about how he can help. Even at the final moment and near the place where the team obtains the final Aeon, Tidus still tries to think of a solution that doesn’t sacrifice Yuna. He eventually gets his answer from the Fayth and many others along the journey. Courage is something we can learn from, even though there might never be answers along the way. We persevere to bring joy to the ones we love. That’s courage. The meaning of courage is also to take the road less travelled, to be less conventional and try out new ideas.

Tidus finding out the answer on how to prevent sacrificing Yuna to obtain the final Aeon to defeat Sin.

Tidus still tries to think of a solution that doesn’t sacrifice Yuna. His ongoing discussion with Rikku(another party member) continues for the entire journey. He eventually gets his answer from the Fayth and many others along the journey.

Yuna says, “The final summoning is a false tradition that should be thrown away”

Near the end where she is almost at the place where she will obtain the final Aeon, Yuna thought through the whole process and felt that it shouldn’t work that way, decided to defeat the enemy(Lady Yunalesca) and put a stop to the unnecessary sacrifice. The courage they have shown is something remarkable. It tells us how tough choices are unavoidable, and there might never be answers for some of the issues we face. The only thing we know is to persevere on to bring joy to our loved ones. That’s courage. The meaning of courage is also to take the road less travelled, to be less conventional and try out new ideas.


From the story, machina (or machines) are supposed to be controlled. Machina that is not authorised isn’t allowed to be used(at all). Everyone follows the teachings of Yevon, and believe that they should not be using forbidden Machina. The Machina was the cause of the creation of Sin, an invincible monster that plagued Spira for a long time. If the people of Spira atone for their wrongdoings, Sin can eventually be purged.

Cid, the leader of the Al Bhed in a Spaceship. He says machina can be easily rebuilt!

There are those who defy this logic, such as the tribe known as the Al Bhed. A group of Spirans who choose to use machina to fight Sin. They even went to the extent of “kidnapping” the summoners to prevent them from sacrificing their lives at the end of the pilgrimage. In life, there are some who wish to defy for the better of humanity. If we do it with a conscious and not go against our beliefs, then these hard choices are worth the shot.  

To defy the status quo in real life means having a real understanding of the problem that you are tackling. At times we stick to whatever others are doing as it is the simplest way of solving problems. Tidus did not believe the Al Bhed are bad people, as Rikku(an Al Bhed) has saved his life once. He even barged into temples( he wasn’t supposed to do so) when Yuna looked like she’s in danger while obtaining an Aeon. He was naive, but he did it for the good of others.


How Lord Braska, Jecht and Auron got together and begin their journey.

Yuna’ father, Lord Braska completed the same pilgrimage, with Sir Aaron and Jecht(Tidus’s father) as a team. It stresses the importance of teamwork and taking advantage of each other’s strengths and complimenting each other’s weaknesses.

Everyone preparing for the final battle to obtain the Final Aeon.

Even at the stage of challenging status quo, Yuna and her guardian work together as a team to defy Yevon’s teachings as they don’t see a need to sacrifice a friend/guardian to become the final Aeon (summoning).  In life, there will be hurdles and unpleasant moments you face. Face it with people you trust and understand you most. You will get better results than doing it all alone.

In every final fantasy series, there is always a character that I favour a lot. The other characters get disadvantaged and sometimes those characters actually make a huge difference in defeating bosses. As I progress, I tinker around the new characters I obtained to see what their real strengths and weaknesses are. I search online to find out more too. This is in comparison with life. At times, we need to collaborate with the right people to obtain great solutions we need to address our work issues. We also need to find our teammates’ strengths and weaknesses to progress as an organization and department. Collaborate frequently to see pros and cons, take opportunities to celebrate wins together and reflect upon losses.


Levelling characters can be hard work!

This segment is unrelated to the story. It’s good to say it as well. Playing role Playing Games(RPG) is one of my favorites, as it contains elements of story and gameplay.

This applies to final fantasy series especially. I’ll like to bring this context a little closer to leveling my characters in the game. Working hard in RPGs is important, but working smart to take advantage of the enemy weakness is even more important. I take advantage of elemental weaknesses or find out some information about the bosses and enemies through FAQs or gameplay items.

In life, a mix of working hard and smart is also important as we need to know how we should obtain certain information that helps us in our work. I Google ideas or read up online to find out more about things that I am unsure of. So, to make our professional lives a bit easier, we shouldn’t be defensive in not wanting to try new things.


Something for you to look into..

The video game industry is growing exponentially, and as the technology and video quality increase so does the ability to separate virtual reality from reality. Video games also form an integral part of childhood in my childhood as well as future generations to come. Understanding the values of these games and how it can help you become a better person is important, as well as looking into how parents and children can collaborate and play games together for better bonding. I conclude by saying the correct exposure to games can determine our future and how we react to situations that happen in our lives.


A Journey of Self Discovery, Grit and lots of Stubbornness

March 16, 2019, by barry ng

As I was doing my part as a ‘bus guide’, I was both reflecting on my journey to SIM as a staff and also years back as a student. There were some prospective students who began comparing the degree programmes and asked me the common question, “Which degree is better?” This struck me as that relevance isn’t as important as the reputation of the university that confers the degree. As such, this post is dedicated to providing an idea of what university degree should be.

Why I used to hate creativity!

January 14, 2019, by barry ng

According to a new report from the World Economic Forum, it is crystal clear that creativity is going to be one of the most important and in-demand skills in the next 5 years.

My book list of 2018

January 7, 2019, by barry ng

In this book complication for 2018, I will be sharing what I have read for the whole of last year and how the stories of each author will inspire you to greatness!

My greatest asset

December 31, 2018, by barry ng

Dearest Tessa,

This is your dad. Apparently, your dad loves to write in order to synthesize and understand things. So, he decided to dedicate a post for you!

What makes my heart sing?

December 18, 2018, by barry ng

The title of my article was inspired my Carmine Gallo’s (very) famous book – Talk like TED. He talks about how we can use our passion to inspire others, looking through the lens of a TED presentation. I hope it inspires you to discover your own passion too. I’ll use this as a baseline to discuss my thoughts and passion on what really makes my heart sing.

Growing with the right mindset

December 15, 2018, by barry ng

Growth mindset is a pretty hot topic as we move towards a complex society and also the focus on creativity these days. I attended two separate sessions on growth mindset, one was a half day workshop while the other was just a short discussion with dialogue. I must say it opened my perspective on growth mindset and what it truly means. I have compiled these understandings plus an article by Carole Dweck.

MAPE to uncover new perspectives

November 13, 2018, by barry ng

I end the journey of my MAPE(Masters of Arts in Professional Education) programme(like hopefully passing the last two modules). It’s a new journey of my learning and development (L&D)career. Some things felt familiar, some are pretty new.

Let me cover the journey that you will expect to experience.