A “Secret” For Achieving Success

I once invited a billionaire to my office to share his “secret” for success.

Prior to the talk, I told him half in jest that he would be sharing with participants from the “quick-fix generation.”

There would not be time for a long speech.

In fact, he had to share his formula for creating wealth within the span of just a few minutes.

It was not the easiest of tasks but I was confident my friend could do the job.

If you were there, you could feel the enthusiasm of the audience as they listened to him, literally with bated breath.

After all, how often do you get to learn from a billionaire.

What’s more, the participants were told that he would be distilling his years of experience into a simple formula.

They could apply the same formula and if they did so, they could also enjoy the same results.

That rich and very unassuming businessman started by detailing the challenges in his life.

He went on to share on how he built his business empire – step by step – until it became a success story.

Then came the most exciting part.

It started when he told them, “As I looked back on my entrepreneurial life, I realized there is one key factor that has helped me achieve whatever success that I have.

“In fact, it’s the same factor that has helped many people achieve amazing feats in their lifetime.

“I learned to … ”

After saying those words, he paused for a reflective silence.

He established eye contact with the audience, probably to prepare them to learn the last and most important point.

The participants responded with total focus.

Besides their ears, their hearts were also open. They were ready, and deeply desired to find the pot of gold.

Silence was somehow helping to hold and freeze everybody to their seats.

That silence could only be broken by one person, the person standing in front of that class.

My billionaire friend spoke slowly and clearly.

He repeated the last three words and completed the sentence.

“I learned to work hard and smart.”

At the end of the sentence, you could almost hear a lot of hopes tumbling to the ground with a loud crash.

Many participants had expected to hear a much more complex advice – one that they did not know or know very little about.

As for me, the more I thought about that “secret” for success, the more I realized how powerful it was.

I had an “Aha!” moment which continued to grow in its intensity.

Please let me share with you my take on working hard and smart.

Life is fair.

It gives you choices to change your destiny.

Besides choices, you are also given the capacity and ability to work hard and smart so as to level any playing field and win in the game of life.

However, instead of making the right choices and implementing them, many chose to lay blame, justify, and give excuses.

They told themselves stories about why they did not make it and worst, would not make it in life.

They saw themselves as victims rather than potential victors who had the capacity for self-determination and action.

Rather than took responsibility, they threw their destinies to the winds of change.

They looked for entitlements rather than for enhancements to improve their knowledge, attitudes, skills and habits (KASH).

As a result, those negative actions held them back from taking life by the horns.

And prevented them from living out the dreams in their hearts.

Beware of such enticing traps.

Never blame anyone for whatever challenges you are facing. Instead, take charge of the situation.

Don’t justify your fears and failures. Instead, take full responsibility to resolve them and develop yourself so as to fulfil your goals and visions.

Avoid giving excuses for not achieving the desired outcomes. Instead, take massive actions to achieve sustainable success in your life.

Working hard and smart can never put anybody down.

It will expand your potential, enhance your performance, and help you excel in whatever pursuits in your life.

You may neither be the most talented person nor have the right experience nor have the best resources.

However, if you are willing to work hard and smart, you can develop strengths to help you capitalise on opportunities.

With continuous improvements, you will become more productive.

And achieve ever better results with ever less resources.

Eventually, you will stand out from the crowd and lead the field.

Like muscles that need to be stretched to perform well, you need to develop yourself to become more disciplined, knowledgeable and competent.

If you want to become a champion, mix around with champions.

Let their work ethos inspire and influence you to make full use of your life.

If you feel like working hard and smart, do more.

If not, push yourself even harder until working hard and smart becomes a habit and a way of life.

Soon, you will learn to enjoy your work and become more effective and efficient in your performance.

And direct your life towards the desired destination.

Along the way, don’t let anything hold you back from working hard and smart. Fight it with all your might.

Learn to fire up your engines when you get out of bed to start a new day and to start it right.

Press on and keep pressing on to take the right action and in the right way.

Keep striving, stretching and soaring to accomplish better achievements that will help you reach for the stars in your life.

I believe if you stop working hard and smart, you stop living meaningfully.

Taking responsibility to face challenges is our Creator’s mandate for us to manage life.

Therefore, make working hard and smart a vital, integral and fulfilling part of your life – starting from now.

Go4It!

I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

Please ‘Like’ me on https://m.facebook.com/patrickliewsg

Please visit my website, http://www.patrickliew.net 

Follow me on:

https://www.quora.com/profile/Patrick-Liew-5

Visit my Inspiration blog at https://liewinspiration.wordpress.com/

For my opinions on social affairs, please visit my Transformation blog at http://hsrpatrickliew.wordpress.com/

Let’s connect on instagram.com/patrickliewsg – via @patrickliewsg

https: //twitter.com/patrickliew77

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My LinkedIn

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My Quora https://www.quora.com/profile/Patrick-Liew-5?share=24abf3c1&srid=uL2Gz Please read my reflections and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!

Happiness Is A Little Child – Be Happy: No Reasons Needed

If you ask children why they are happy, they may not be able to give you a reason.

Everything inside and around them can make them happy.

If you ask the average adult the same question, they will probably tell you many reasons why they are not happy.

Everything inside and around them can make them unhappy.

Children’s happiness is not dependent on any conditions or circumstances.

For many adults, they are happy “if only…,” or “because…”

Children can teach you that you can be happy. Period.

Go4It!

I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

Please ‘Like’ me on https://m.facebook.com/patrickliewsg

Please visit my website, http://www.patrickliew.net 

Follow me on:

https://www.quora.com/profile/Patrick-Liew-5

Visit my Inspiration blog at https://liewinspiration.wordpress.com/

For my opinions on social affairs, please visit my Transformation blog at http://hsrpatrickliew.wordpress.com/

Let’s connect on instagram.com/patrickliewsg – via @patrickliewsg

https: //twitter.com/patrickliew77

– via @patrickliew77

My LinkedIn

http://www.linkedin.com/in/liewpatrick

My Quora https://www.quora.com/profile/Patrick-Liew-5?share=24abf3c1&srid=uL2Gz Please read my reflections and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!

Happiness Is Reframing Your Negative Experiences

Everything happen for a purpose, meaning, and significance.

When something negative happens, look for the positives in it.

You must look for the good in every challenge and leverage on them to your advantage.

Transform every challenge into a learning and growth experience.

The worst of crises can improve your character and make you a stronger and better person.

It can compel you to make something good out of your life and the lives of the people around you.

Go4It!

I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

Please ‘Like’ me on https://m.facebook.com/patrickliewsg

Please visit my website, http://www.patrickliew.net 

Follow me on:

https://www.quora.com/profile/Patrick-Liew-5

Visit my Inspiration blog at https://liewinspiration.wordpress.com/

For my opinions on social affairs, please visit my Transformation blog at http://hsrpatrickliew.wordpress.com/

Let’s connect on instagram.com/patrickliewsg – via @patrickliewsg

https: //twitter.com/patrickliew77

– via @patrickliew77

My LinkedIn

http://www.linkedin.com/in/liewpatrick

My Quora https://www.quora.com/profile/Patrick-Liew-5?share=24abf3c1&srid=uL2Gz Please read my reflections and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!

Paradox of Life

As you travel on the journey of life, you seek all manners of wealth and riches.

In the final hours, they matter little to you.

You pursue personal achievement and success but you cannot carry them beyond your grave.

Who you are and what you have accomplished cannot extend another minute of your life.

What you strive and fight for will not matter.

Vengeance, hatred, and resentment will become meaningless in the grand scheme of life.

Failure and success will not be important anymore.

All dreams and aspirations will disappear.

Everything that you have acquired will be passed on to some other people.

Whatever you carry with you will be buried or cremated together with your body.

The things which you hold dear will eventually be buried in the sands of time.

The paradox of life is that what really counts oftentimes cannot be counted.

What truly matters may not be made of matter.

What really counts in your life is not just your capability, but also your character.

It’s not just about your tenacity, but also about your integrity.

It’s not just about the image you portray, but also about what others perceive of you.

It’s not just about the recognition you seek, but also the respect you earn from others.

It’s not just about what you have done, but also what became of you and the others after you have done it.

It’s not just about the quantity of your possession, but also the quality of your contribution.

It’s not just about the position you hold, but also your compassion for people.

It’s not just about having more power, but also whether you have passion to help people around you.

It’s not just about what you have, but also what you gave.

It’s not just what you have achieved, but also what others have received from you.

It’s not just about prestige, but also the privilege to serve a wider community.

It’s not just about the pleasure of life, but also the treasure that will outlast a lifetime.

It’s not just about what you will miss in life, but also whether people will miss you when you are gone.

It’s not just about making a living, but also about living a life that makes a positive difference.

It’s not just about the kind of world you are living in, but also whether you will leave the world a better place than when you first came to it.

It’s not just about what you know, but also how you use what you
know to turn the world around you into a better home.

Don’t just look forward in life, but backward too.

You need to work with our Creator to craft where you want to be and how you should live your life.

You need to then work backward to decide how you should journey in life, living out your dream in your mind and in your life.

Whatever happened in your life may not be the best.

However, you can make the best out of whatever has happened.

You can turn every stumbling block into a stepping stone.

Every pitfall can be a platform to live a worthwhile life.

The best way to live your life is to live it for others and not just for yourself.

When you invest in a human life, you will live the best of life.

The more you reach out to bless other lives, the richer and better your life will become.

When you hold tightly to material things, they will soon take complete hold of you.

It will leave you drifting through a sea of meaninglessness.

Life is about giving yourself to what really counts in eternity.

If you live for such a higher cause, you will be lifted to a higher plane and fulfillment in life.

It’s time to change your life.

Change is not out there. It’s within you.

Go4It!

I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

Please ‘Like’ me on https://m.facebook.com/patrickliewsg

Please visit my website, http://www.patrickliew.net 

Follow me on:

https://www.quora.com/profile/Patrick-Liew-5

Visit my Inspiration blog at https://liewinspiration.wordpress.com/

For my opinions on social affairs, please visit my Transformation blog at http://hsrpatrickliew.wordpress.com/

Let’s connect on instagram.com/patrickliewsg – via @patrickliewsg

https: //twitter.com/patrickliew77

– via @patrickliew77

My LinkedIn

http://www.linkedin.com/in/liewpatrick

My Quora https://www.quora.com/profile/Patrick-Liew-5?share=24abf3c1&srid=uL2Gz Please read my reflections and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!

True Purpose of Wealth

“So, why do you care?!”

That was the question that one of my professors, Aldai Wertman posed to the class.

He did it in his usual gentle but provocative tone.

Prior to that, he had put up a slide that showed the backs of two children.

It was obvious that they were malnourished and were going through hard times.

Surrounding them was a barren land, hot and arid and without any form of life.

In front of them was a long muddy track leading to the horizon.

In the minds of most of us, it was leading to nowhere.

The track and everything in the picture captured a state of helplessness and a sense of hopelessness.

Professor Wertman repeated the question and added, “Why do you care about these children?

Should you even care about these children, after all you’ve not met them and will never ever meet them in your entire life?”

He scanned the room, with his eyes staring right through our minds and into our hearts.

If he had any answer to his questions, it was clear that he was not going to tell us.

After a moment of uncomfortable silence, an Afro-American in my class spoke up.

He probably thought that he had to speak up for another black fellow human.

“I see myself in them. Somebody helped me in the past and I should do the same for another poor soul.

“You can call it giving back. It can also be paying forward. I should and must help them.”

The good Professor pointed to one of my classmates.

I’m sure she knew beforehand that she would be picked because she has been to different parts of Africa on social missions.

“I care because it is not their fault. I have been blessed and therefore, I’m obligated to reach out to them.”

The student from Qatar who was sitting behind her raised his hands.

He spoke excitedly, “I care because it makes me feel good. I feel happy when I can help someone in need.”

In response, the Professor quipped, “Ah, that’s what we call a warm and ‘Fawzi’ feeling”.

The class laughed because that was his name.

Another Afro-American continued the discussion. His comment put the class through a sobering moment.

“I care because I met them. I know how it feels to be in need. I know what it means when you can’t turn to anybody and you feel like you’re all alone to face problems.”

A philosophical friend of mind responded to him.

Till this day, I still do not know if she was just putting up a counter-argument or giving her view about the subject matter.

“I care but I need to have a purpose for doing it. I can’t possibly care for them first.

“I need to look after my loved ones and the people around me. When I’m in a better position, then I will take action to care for these kids.”

The Professor smiled not so much because he agreed with the answer.

I believed he smiled because there were many less altruistic reasons for compassion but it didn’t matter as long as help was given to the two disadvantaged children.

Another of my classmates argued, “I care because I can do something right now. I’m not sure if I can help the rest but at this moment, I can save two more fellow humans.”

In response, the Professor told us the Starfish Story.

In a nutshell, it was a story about how two friends found a beach full of starfish.

They were washed ashore after a tsunami and left to die under
the hot afternoon sun.

One of the boys started to pick up the starfish one after and another. He threw it back to the sea.

His friend persuaded him to give up. He asked him, “How can you save all the starfish?”

The reply that came back fast and certain was, “At least, I can save this one.”

With that statement, he threw one more starfish back into the water.

A priest in my class shared passionately on her view: “I believe God created us to care. I care because He cares for me. I’m doing what He designed me to do and to me, it’s a natural thing to do.”

Another person continued along the same vein. “I care because of the love and grace of God for my life. One of these two children could very well be me. How can I not help?”

Obviously, nobody in my class was about to respond to his rhetorical question.

Throughout the discussion, I was hoping the Professor would pick me to share my thoughts.

Like a good Asian kid, I kept silent and was listening intently to the others while trying to fine-tune my answer.

The Professor tried to swerve the discussion away from the religious slant.

He told the class, “There are scientists who believe that all of us have an altruistic gene. We are genetically wired to love and care for others.”

After making the last statements, he started walking back to his computer. It seemed like he was putting the discussion behind him.

“Hold it Professor!” I shouted out to him. “You have not given us your views about the subject.”

I could see that he was feeling very uneasy right before my eyes.

I was putting him back on the hot seat and somehow, that was not part of the script.

At least it was not part of the script that was crafted by the Professor and he was the director of the drama for that day.

For one fleeting moment I thought to myself, there goes some of my marks for this subject.

I was afraid to lose any mark, I could not afford to lose marks and fail the subject.

His reply was brilliant. “I care because I did.”

It was a brilliant answer at least to me because I could not understand him initially.

He went on to explain himself. “I have been very blessed in my life. I was given all the right ingredients and conditions to be successful – literally on a plate.”

“All I had to do was to stir it with hard work. It is not right that God had blessed me just so that I can have a good life. I need to do something good and make sure good comes out of it.”

He concluded by saying, “I believe the world should be fixed.”

The words spoken by different people in my class kept stirring in my heart. I just could not delete them from my mind.

The discussion revolves around issues that were fundamentals to life and good living.

My views about them and how I respond to them are capstones to helping me live a meaningful and fulfilling life.

I care for the poor and needy because I feel for them.

It’s a part of my heart and being.

When I deny it, I deny my humanness.

I gut the soul out of my life.

There are no other reasons for caring and none are needed except for one.

God has beautifully crafted us. He wants us to make something beautiful out of our lives.

So, why do you care? What are you going to do about it?

When you meet somebody in need, put yourself in that person’s shoes.

Can you feel the distress that he is going through?

You should – because somebody helped you in the past.

That’s why if you search deep in your heart, you would feel that you’ve “met” the person before.

It might not be the person’s fault for being in that position.

That person could very well be you.

Just as you hope somebody would help you when you’re in need, you should help that person who’s in need.

It may not be possible to help everybody in the world.

At that very moment, you can help that person. You can help one more person.

You can stretch out your hands to lift somebody up and out of the pits of life.

It’s both your way of giving back and paying it forward.

Perhaps, that’s why you have what you have today.

They are gifts to you so that you can share them with others.

These gifts were given to you so as to help you and your loved ones to live a meaningful life.

At the same time, you can use them to bless others and by doing that, you can live a happier and more fulfilled life.

You are wired to do well with your life in order to make something good out it.

When you do good and do it well, the positive feeling that you will enjoy is something that you cannot buy with any amount of money in the world.

Some of the greatest wealth-creation gurus believe that giving back is a basic criteria for achieving success.

If you don’t give, you will not leave room for greater blessings to flow into your life.

All great religions teach you that you need to do good to others.

It’s a way of life and a universally-accepted principle if you want to enjoy a meaningful, purposeful, and fulfilling life.

Our Creator designed you to love and care for others.

It’s a natural trait and you know and can feel it in your heart.

Giving back is a vital part of your spirit.

It’s an integral part of your being.

When you deny it, you deny your God-given potentials and talents.

You destroy something wonderful inside you.

That’s why I have always said that the worst heart disease is not to have a heart for people and the environment.

In this regard, we may need to have a good “heart transplant” every now and then.

We may need to renew and strengthen our hearts to give back and do good.

There are many lives and things around us that are falling apart.

If we don’t do our part to fix them, they may come back to haunt and affect us.

Governments cannot resolve these problems because politicians are dependent on popular votes.

There are limitations to what they can do and achieve.

Universities and other educational institutions cannot fully address these issues because they are focused primarily on the pursuit of knowledge.

It is not in their charter to implement solutions for social and environmental problems.

Charity bodies have been around for thousands of years.

They cannot offer a sustainable solution because they lack talents, money and other resources.

To resolve these challenges, we need a fourth key – every one of us.

All of us can do our part to make our world a better home.

Every person matters.

Every part counts.

Call me an idealist if you like, I believe if you and I live with love, our future generation will point to us and say, “That’s the generation that finally got their act of love together.

“They eradicated poverty, brought about world peace, and made our world a better home for all of us.”

Will you be one of the Enlightened Humans?

Go4It!

I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

Please ‘Like’ me on https://m.facebook.com/patrickliewsg

Please visit my website, http://www.patrickliew.net 

Follow me on:

https://www.quora.com/profile/Patrick-Liew-5

Visit my Inspiration blog at https://liewinspiration.wordpress.com/

For my opinions on social affairs, please visit my Transformation blog at http://hsrpatrickliew.wordpress.com/

Let’s connect on instagram.com/patrickliewsg – via @patrickliewsg

https: //twitter.com/patrickliew77

– via @patrickliew77

My LinkedIn

http://www.linkedin.com/in/liewpatrick

My Quora https://www.quora.com/profile/Patrick-Liew-5?share=24abf3c1&srid=uL2Gz Please read my reflections and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!

Personal Branding

What is the one word or phrase that you would like your customers to associate you with?

For me, the word that stood out in my mind is – Inspiration. I want to inspire others through my lips and life to achieve greatness.

I want to be the best number 2 so that the people around me can be number 1.

I don’t seek a win-win but a single-win relationship with others.

I’m happy if they are the only party to win.

That’s good enough for me.

So, what do you want to be known for?

Go4It!

I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

Please ‘Like’ me on https://m.facebook.com/patrickliewsg

Please visit my website, http://www.patrickliew.net 

Follow me on:

https://www.quora.com/profile/Patrick-Liew-5

Visit my Inspiration blog at https://liewinspiration.wordpress.com/

For my opinions on social affairs, please visit my Transformation blog at http://hsrpatrickliew.wordpress.com/

Let’s connect on instagram.com/patrickliewsg – via @patrickliewsg

https: //twitter.com/patrickliew77

– via @patrickliew77

My LinkedIn

http://www.linkedin.com/in/liewpatrick

My Quora https://www.quora.com/profile/Patrick-Liew-5?share=24abf3c1&srid=uL2Gz Please read my reflections and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!

Brand the experience with you

Branding is not about buzz words, advertisement and promotion.

It’s not even about being recognized and remembered, especially for the wrong or less-than-optimal impression.

In the final analysis, your face is the most important brand.

Your name should be the best logo.

Your thoughts, words and action should the best tools for developing branding equity and deliverables.

Branding is therefore the ongoing experience that your customers have with you.

Aim to make the experience with you meaningful, fun, exciting, fulfilling and memorable.

Turn branding relationship into a lifelong love affair.

Go4It!

I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

Please ‘Like’ me on https://m.facebook.com/patrickliewsg

Please visit my website, http://www.patrickliew.net 

Follow me on:

https://www.quora.com/profile/Patrick-Liew-5

Visit my Inspiration blog at https://liewinspiration.wordpress.com/

For my opinions on social affairs, please visit my Transformation blog at http://hsrpatrickliew.wordpress.com/

Let’s connect on instagram.com/patrickliewsg – via @patrickliewsg

https: //twitter.com/patrickliew77

– via @patrickliew77

My LinkedIn

http://www.linkedin.com/in/liewpatrick

My Quora https://www.quora.com/profile/Patrick-Liew-5?share=24abf3c1&srid=uL2Gz Please read my reflections and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!

Fire Up Your Life!

There I was in the middle of the Sahara Desert.

It was nightfall and the temperature had dropped dramatically.

The desert winds were literally blowing icy spikes right into my being.

Fortunately, our tour guide had set up a fire to help us stay warm.

That evening, I felt like I was sitting amidst a battle between the fire and coldness of the night.

Somehow, as it got deeper into the night, the fire had turned back the cold and was winning battles after battles.

As I contemplated on the vital role of fire, I realized there were many lessons that we could learn from fire.

Let me share with you some of those lessons.

I’m not sure when humankind first discovered fire.

All I know is that at some point in history, we learned to start and control fire.

We learned how to leverage on and enjoy the use of fire.

Fire can be a force for both good and evil. A helpful servant but a harsh master.

It can protect us and also destroy us.

Fire can help us prepare food and thus, enhance availability and variety of different types of food and nutrients.

With heat, we can survive better in a cooler environment.

For many, fire can better protect them against nocturnal predators.

Help them see their way through darkness and operate in it.

And fire can be used as a weapon to protect themselves against their enemies.

In modern economy, we can utilise fire to generate electricity and power our industries.

And build various combustion-based vehicles to take us around the world and even into outer space.

Fire has increased our productive hours, and made life more comfortable.

In many ways, fire has also enhanced our creativity and imagination.

And helped create more possibilities and opportunities for ourselves.

Fire has changed the way we live, work, learn and play. It can help us to live a better life.

Fire has become a vital and sometimes, a sacred part of our life.

It has also become a symbol for many laudable values.

In the Bible, fire has been used to represent our Creator and His emissaries.

One of the most popular stories was about how He used pillars of fire to lead His people through all the darkness and right to the promised land.

Every time, we look at fire, we are somehow caught up with something mystical about it.

Fire reaches out to a deep recess of our minds and places us in a trance-like state.

It’s a symbol to activate synapses of our neural pathways and remind us to pursue a purposeful life.

Fire challenges us to dream beyond ourselves.

Perhaps what is more important than the tangible fire is the proverbial fire in our belly.

This is a burning desire that can be kindled to release fiery passion, energy, creativity, single-mindedness, and vision.

That fire is the one of the most powerful forces to help us blaze a trail in our lives.

Propel us to fulfill a worthwhile dream and change the world around us.

Fire can represent destruction for all things negative.

It can also stand for the needed purification to bring out the best from each and every one of us.

As an active force, fire can help to maintain various ecological systems and stimulate growth.

It compels and catalyses the renewal of life.

In many ways we can choose to be like a life-giving fire.

We can contribute to our communities and help generate restorations, improvements and growth.

Fire requires oxygen and other materials to burn on an ongoing basis.

In the same way, we need to harness other forces to help us achieve meaningful results and reach our desired destinations.

It will bode well to remember that to start a fire, all we need is just a spark.

No matter how small the spark is, it has the potential to become a flame and eventually, it can be turned into a blazing fire.

That’s how positive revolutions were started.

They could be started with just an idea, a simple spark if you will.

The people who came out with the idea oftentimes perceived themselves to be ordinary.

They could not imagine that their ideas and the actions taken to turn ideas into a reality could end up making a major impact on society.

The next person with such an idea can very well be you.

Keep stroking the flame within your belly.

Don’t let the world cruelly extinguish it.

Fan the flame until it becomes a fiery force to drive you in fulfilling the dreams in your life.

Go4It!

I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

Please ‘Like’ me on https://m.facebook.com/patrickliewsg

Please visit my website, http://www.patrickliew.net 

Follow me on:

https://www.quora.com/profile/Patrick-Liew-5

Visit my Inspiration blog at https://liewinspiration.wordpress.com/

For my opinions on social affairs, please visit my Transformation blog at http://hsrpatrickliew.wordpress.com/

Let’s connect on instagram.com/patrickliewsg – via @patrickliewsg

https: //twitter.com/patrickliew77

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Life is FUNtastic!

Complaining About My Shoes

There’s no point in comparing yourself with others, and feeling better than or looking down on another person.

Instead, respect those who are better off than you and learn from them.

And if you cannot stretch out your hands to help those who are worst off than you, do not speak negatively about them.

Having said that, I have always felt there are some virtues in the saying, “I complained about my shoes until I saw somebody without legs”.

That was how I felt when I was listening to my friend when he shared about the compulsory military service in his country.

Just like Singapore, most of the males at the age of 18 years old are conscripted to serve in the army for two years.

Earlier on in the conversation, I thought that their National Service is similar to ours in Singapore.

It seemed to be so until he started to share about their trainings in the army.

It did not sound like a service but more like horrors and tortures.

I was quite sure that he did not share my perception.

To him, the tough and vigorous training was needed to learn how to defend his country.

My friend told me that their men are sent to a distant army camp, and they may not be able to go home for the entire two years.

During this time, it is not uncommon that they will be tormented by their superiors.

Some youths will even commit suicide during the service.

Parents are not the most excited about the drafting of their sons into the army.

They will try to do everything possible to get them an exemption and to take them out of the army.

From what my friend told me, it sounded like the men have to go through long stretches of strenuous trainings.

He used different body languages, complete with sound effects to try and impress upon me the rigors of their trainings.

When I did not look too impressed, he stepped up the fear factor.

According to him, when they have a full-scale military training operation, it’s common to have five accidental deaths.

He said, “The officers are not unduly concerned about the deaths.

“Sometimes, they pat themselves on the back because the number of casualties have been limited to five only”.

At that point, I can’t help feeling impressed.

I was impressed with how Singapore has evolved our National Service to become a vital part of nation-building process.

Today, it is a way of life, and a rite of passage for boys to become men.

Parents have generally accepted that it is good for Singapore and their sons.

At the end of the evening, I shared with my colleague and another friend that the Singapore Armed Forces is also a credible force.

We may not have a large army or even comparable toughness of training – but we are an intelligent fighting force.

We have an ongoing pipeline of quality leaders to lead the SAF, and many of whom were trained in some of the best military academies.

We used advanced technology, and we constantly renew ourselves to stay at the cutting edge of military warfare.

More importantly, our National Service has helped to strengthen our economy and country.

We are more united because of our service in the SAF and other uniformed forces.

There is a growing spirit of pride for Singapore.

When the Recall Sytem is activated, most of us will come together to defend our country, people and our way of life.

I pray that we will never have to see that day.

While I respect other countries’ standards of military service, I am proud to have gone through National Service in Singapore.

I have made many lifelong friends and have become a better person for it.

Majulah Singapura!

Go4It!

I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

Please ‘Like’ me on https://m.facebook.com/patrickliewsg

Please visit my website, http://www.patrickliew.net 

Follow me on:

https://www.quora.com/profile/Patrick-Liew-5

Visit my Inspiration blog at https://liewinspiration.wordpress.com/

For my opinions on social affairs, please visit my Transformation blog at http://hsrpatrickliew.wordpress.com/

Let’s connect on instagram.com/patrickliewsg – via @patrickliewsg

https: //twitter.com/patrickliew77

– via @patrickliew77

My LinkedIn

http://www.linkedin.com/in/liewpatrick

My Quora https://www.quora.com/profile/Patrick-Liew-5?share=24abf3c1&srid=uL2Gz Please read my reflections and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!

The Day I Failed My Exams

“I’ve got bad news for you.”

“I hope you’ll take it well.”

That was what my brother told me on 3 May 1976.

He had placed an overseas call for the first time in his life and it was a very expensive call to him.

I was in Hong Kong then to serve as a short-term social worker.

My friends had helped to raise money by selling old newspapers to send me to undergo an internship in a youth organisation.

My brother went on to break one of the saddest news in my life,
“Patrick, you failed your exams.

“You have a chance to either repeat your studies or leave the school.”

After hearing the news, I collapsed on my seat – totally dazed.

I was given a Hobson’s choice – one that I believed would lead me through a dark corridor of misery.

Repeating my studies was one of the most shameful failures in the Asian culture.

On the other hand, leaving school would mean that I might not be able to find a decent job or even a job at all.

My reaction at that point was to lay blame, and give lots of excuses to justify my failure.

Among my close friends, we call such blames, excuses and justifications “stories.”

I have many “stories” about why I should not be responsible for my failure.

I supposed I could even prove it and out-argue anybody on why I don’t deserve to fail.

I might even be able to blame our Creator for the failure.

After all on that year, besides studying and spending much time helping a voluntary welfare organisation, I was co-ordinating a full-time secretariat and helping to manage a fully-equipped office.

I was devoting my youth to running programmes for a good cause.

I was helping students in more than 17 schools. My dream was to help them become better leaders and live a more abundant life.

How could our Creator allow me to fail?

Why did He not wrought a miracle – maybe cover the examiners’ eyes and help me pass the exams – and pass with flying colours?

I could also blame my teachers.

Some of them were incompetent and could not communicate the subject materials properly.

My classmates were not helpful to me too.

In fact, one of my classmates who happened to be my neighbour told me, “Out of ten questions that you asked me, I can only give you answers to seven of them.

“That way, I will always be smarter than you.”

You can imagine the intense anguish and anxiety that I had to go through for quite awhile.

I could not think of a way out of the “I-am-a-victim” box.

Meanwhile, many questions crossed my mind.

What would people think of me as a failure?

Would that “branding” condemn me to a life of shame and remorse, and lead me to more failures?

Would my current and new friends play with me and be my friends?

Even if I repeat, would I fail again and waste more time and maybe, be condemned for life?

Despite all these questions, I decided to repeat my studies – but these questions continued to haunt me for a long time.

When the new term started, I joined the new class with fear and trepidation.

I sat at the back of the class, like an outcast in a lepers’ colony.

If my new classmates felt uneasy in my presence, they did not show it.

However, every slightest negative move made by them – real or unreal – was amplified many times in my mind.

Somehow, I felt they were constantly giving me strange looks.

There was a lingering feeling that they were sharing my darkest secrets behind my back.

While struggling through this emotional storm, I had to cope with my studies.

And anchor my sanity and live a normal life at the same time.

By the way, there is a fairy-tale ending to this story.

Please read till the end to find out about my life–changing experience.

The wake-up call came when I realised an important lesson in life.

To achieve sustainable success, take full responsibility for your life.

In whatever chosen endeavor, have a committed, conscientious, and continuous sense of responsibility.

Stop telling “stories.” They will not lead you to change, nor help you take any action to improve your life.

To change anything, you must first change yourself.

If you cannot manage your life properly, it will be hard to manage the critical factors that will lead you to success.

It is you – and not the situation that you are in – that can limit yourself or hold you back from success.

Our Creator has given you a precious gift in life – Choice.

You’re totally free to decide what you want to do with your life.

Free to change your thoughts, plans, behaviour and actions.

Whatever happened in your life might not be the best.

However, you can make the best of whatever had happened.

Remember, “You’re the result of yesterday’s decision.

“What you’ll be tomorrow depends on the choices you make today.”

The destiny of your life can be changed at the point of decision to change your life.

Back to my story, I realized consciously or unconsciously I had exercised my choice to determine the fate of my life.

The ultimate fault must lie with me.

I had to face the situation that I was in, and change the situation.

I could not pretend it did not exist or run away from it.

The good news was, though I might not be able to change the situation, I could change my response to the situation.

And rise above the situation and determine its meaning and significance to my life.

In the same way, I might not be able to change my past.

However, the past did not have to shape or condemn my future. I was free to decide what I wanted to do with my life.

I could not stop the experience but I could always draw valuable lessons from it to build a better future.

If I responded positively, I could improve myself and the situation, and get positive results.

Let me illustrate by sharing with you what had happened to me when I repeated my studies and why it turned out to be one of the best things that had ever happened in my life.

The failure forced me to think and take charge of the outcomes of the failure.

Yes, I could continue to grumble, grouse, and gripe about why “life is so unfair.”

It would only lead me down the slippery road of misery and depression.

On the other hand, I could go and grow through the challenge.

The failure did not have to be a millstone around my neck. It could be a cornerstone for my success.

From believing I was a victim, I could rise to become a victor.

As I reflected on my failure, it became a valuable assessment, feedback and learning experience.

I realised I have not set my priorities correctly. Lived a balanced life.

And exercised discipline and diligence and therefore, I deserved to fail.

If I had passed my exams, I would never have learned how to focus on the important things in life.

I had to ask for forgiveness from our Creator and my parents. I had to also forgive myself and the people who had contributed to my failure.

In addition, I had to change my lifestyle and especially the root cause of my failure if I wanted to change the results.

Traveling on the same road would only lead me to the same destination.

The failure had also humbled me and made me more human.

Helped me better understand and feel for another human when they go through problems in life.

And made me a more empathetic and approachable person.

As I faced the fears, anguish, sorrows, anxieties, embarrassments, and all the cascading effects of the failure, bravely and wisely, it helped me develop a more resilient character.

And taught me how to persevere in pursuing the best things in life.

That failure was one of the best gifts that the school has given to me.

When I started to respond positively, it started to change me and the situation, and help me inculcate many positive values.

Those values stayed with me for a long time after I have forgotten many lessons learnt in the classroom and they helped me achieve better results in life.

That’s why, every time I face a challenge, my first reaction is to say, “Jin Jia Ho (Very Good)!”

Then, I will look for the good in the challenge, take massive action, and turn the challenge into a platform for success.

In closing, I am happy to share with you that on Friday, 21 May 2010 – 34 years after the failure, the principal and management staff at that point invited me to address the graduation class of students.

They published my achievements on their website and in other marketing collaterals.

They decided to list one of their worst failures as one of their notable alumni.

At the graduation ceremony, I shared with all the students, parents, and staff about the failure and how it turned my life around.

That failure became one of the most beautiful experiences in my life.

Go4It!

I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

Please ‘Like’ me on https://m.facebook.com/patrickliewsg

Please visit my website, http://www.patrickliew.net 

Follow me on:

https://www.quora.com/profile/Patrick-Liew-5

Visit my Inspiration blog at https://liewinspiration.wordpress.com/

For my opinions on social affairs, please visit my Transformation blog at http://hsrpatrickliew.wordpress.com/

Let’s connect on instagram.com/patrickliewsg – via @patrickliewsg

https: //twitter.com/patrickliew77

– via @patrickliew77

My LinkedIn

My Quora https://www.quora.com/profile/Patrick-Liew-5?share=24abf3c1&srid=uL2Gz Please read my reflections and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!