Part 5 – Happy Teachers Day – 5 September 2014 (Friday)

Have you ever felt so crushed in your spirit that your entire being just shut down? You wanted to cry but the pain was so deep that it could not reach the tear ducts?

I had such an experience many years ago. More specifically, I was 11 at that point in time and it happened during an Arts lesson in school.

When I was a kid, I loved to draw. In my wildest moments, I even harboured dreams that I could one day be an artist.

When I was in Primary Five, all the students in the school were invited to submit a drawing to support ‘The Rugged Society,’ a national campaign ran by the Singapore Government. I won the second prize for it.

My grandmother who was largely responsible for bringing me up used to say, “When Patrick draws a frog, you can almost hear croaking sounds coming out from it.” But then again, I was her favourite grandchild.

When I was in Primary 5, my dream of being an artist almost crashed. At least, at that point in time, I never wanted to paint a single picture ever again.

During a drawing lesson, our class was told to design the cover of a photo album. We were told that the best paintings would be put up on the notice board at the back of the class.

I was very excited about the assignment and must have done a fair bit of research in preparation for it. I took a lot of trouble to design a very elaborate cover.

When I finally put brushes on paper, I was overflowing with passion. In that span of time, something strange happened.

I felt increasingly alone – the surroundings was gradually disappearing – and I was pouring out my creative juices to create what to me would be an ultimate masterpiece.

It was as if the artistic forces of the our Creator had taken hold of my young hand, bringing the painting stroke by stroke to life.

When the painting was finally completed, I felt a great sense of joy flooding my creative soul. I was so proud of my work.

Then an idea struck me: Why not dedicate the fruit of my artistic labour to my beloved Papa.

I came out with what I thought was an original idea.

I took a passport photograph of my Papa, one which I have always kept in my school bag and I carefully stuck it on the centre of my painting.

I then put on the finishing touches and as I was doing so, I could not help admiring my painting. At one point, my trance-like state was shaken by a chuckle.

While I was deep in my thoughts, I did not realise my Arts teacher had approached my seat and was standing right besides me. He had looked at my painting and decided to pass what he thought was a funny joke.

“Your drawing looks like the front of a lorry, decorated for funeral purposes. It has a photograph on it too.”

At that very moment, I felt like a huge truck had rammed into my heart. A deep pain pierced right through every part of my being – right through my heart, soul and spirit.

I felt like my life was imploding, collapsing into a dark abyss.

Within moments, my whole being had virtually shut down.

I stood up, put on my school bag, and picked up my painting.

I walked to the waste paper basket, oblivious to the class which was by then almost frozen and everybody was keeping a ghastly silence. I was sure all eyes were on me and wondering what I would be doing next.

I did not tear the painting nor did I stuff it into the waste paper basket. I just left it on top of the basket.

I walked straight towards the door and left the class. Not for a moment did I turn around, as if I was hoping that the emotional trauma would just be left behind me.

I did not cry and that made the experience even more painful and unbearable. That morning, I felt the weight of a huge emotional boulder on my young heart.

If you asked me what happened after I walked out of the class, I would tell you in all honesty, I don’t know. It was a complete blank even until today.

I probably asked myself, Why did it have to happen to me? How will I face the others? What will happen to my life in the days ahead?

For a long time, I thought that part of my life story should have ended. The file was closed.

More than 40 years later, I realised the story continued and there was a beautiful outcome from it.

I have digressed. I’ll come back to the good news later.

The beautiful thing thing about being a child was that I did not hold the heart-wrenching experience at heart. I did not let it continue to hurt me.

I also did not harbour any grudge against my teacher. There was no resentment or hatred and even if there was, I was quick to forgive my teacher and forget about the emotional distress.

Every teacher joined the profession knowing full well it was not for money, power, fame or glory. They became teachers because they knew that they could play an important part in influencing students, the leaders of tomorrow.

I was told that if we don’t win the students’ hearts today, they will break ours tomorrow. If we don’t shape them properly today, they will not be able to shape a better world and future for all of us.

Back to my story. that teacher subsequently became one of my favourite teachers. He played a huge part in moulding and shaping me during my formative years.

For many afternoons, some of us stayed back in school to carry out all kinds of co-curricular activities under his supervision, coaching and guidance. We had lots of fun and a wonderful time with him.

Among all the teachers I had in primary school, he had the greatest positive influence on me.

I was thankful that I did not allow a negative experience to dim my view of life. I was able to overcome this and other setbacks and build on them to become a better person.

My aspiration for becoming an artist has not ended. It continued until today.

I have two beautiful daughters and both of them are artistically inclined. They are following their hearts and pursuing different careers in this field.


I am still a budding artist (Hey! Stop laughing). Please let me explain why I’m what I called a 5th dimensional artist.

As a business leader, I have to learn how to cast visions in the minds of my team mates. If they don’t know where I plan to go to, they will not want to follow me.

I have to help paint images on human hearts. Like a teacher, I know if I don’t influence their hearts today with positive values, they may break our hearts tomorrow.

The vision and images that I paint are just as exciting as any painting on a canvass.

I endeavour to help the people around me see, hear, smell, taste and feel clearly the direction of our team and organisation.

The clearer the vision, the more effective the implementation in translating the vision into a reality.

My “artistic skill” is one of the many skills that I have learned from teachers.

I’m eternally grateful to them.

Thank you once again teachers!


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

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

For my opinions on social affairs, please visit my Transformation blog at

Please visit my website,

Please read my reflections and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!


About Patrick Liew
About Patrick Liew Patrick Liew MBA, MSc, BSc is the Managing Partner of Global Enterprise Exchange Pte. Ltd.. He is also the founder and director of Success Resources, arguably the world’s largest personal development seminar organiser and a major shareholder of a company, which is listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. He was previously the Executive Chairman and CEO of HSR Global Ltd., a publicly listed company on SGX-ST. Previously, he was the regional director of the Gartner Group, providing strategic advisory and planning services to governments, banks and MNCs. He was also the regional head of sales and marketing operation for Dow Jones Telerate. Patrick graduated with a BSc in Estate Management from Heriot Watt University, an MSc with emphasis in global business and marketing from The City University Of New York, and an MBA from Henley Business School / Brunel University. He has also earned more than nine other professional qualifications. Patrick is arguably the first person to develop a multimedia e-learning programme on entrepreneurship. He authored a Chinese book on business systems and was also the co-author of a Times Bookshop best-selling book. Patrick has conducted both ‘brick and mortar’ and online lessons for participants from more than 60 countries. He has also conducted keynote presentations in many international conferences, including being the first Singaporean to teach at the National Association of Realtors. Through his team at Success Resources, Patrick has organised educational conferences for prominent leaders such as President Bill Clinton, Prime Minister Tony Blair, Michael Porter, Richard Branson, Robert Kiyosaki, Donald Trump, and many other prominent leaders. Patrick provides leadership and advisory services to many professional and charity organisations. He is actively involved in supporting humanitarian, philanthropic and charity causes. He has organised three fund-raising events and in the process, help to set three national records in the Singapore Books Of Records. Patrick won the Entrepreneur Of the Year Award For Social Contribution, the Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Award, and six other business awards. Patrick believes the best way to live your life is to live your life for others. The more you reach out to bless other lives, the richer and better your life will become. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- A Personal Note to my Friends The articles that I post online; or what I term as Love Notes, are written with the purpose of inspiring readers to live at a higher plane in life. They are also meant to motivate those who are struggling in life and help them find handlers to overcome their conflicts and challenges. It is my ardent hope that we will form networks and alliances of like-minded people who will put to right many of the wrongs in our midst. Together, we will leverage on each other's resources and create a synergistic impact in making our world a better home. These articles are written as part of regular reflection about the vicissitudes of life. They are at best work in progress and at worst, grumblings, grouses, and gripings of a finite old man. I have deliberately decided NOT to delete many of the articles and pointers that I may not agree with or are outrightly wrong. This is to keep a record of how my personal ideas, beliefs, and values have evolved over time. In addition, I hope to encourage readers by letting them know that I also make mistakes and am struggling with many of the complexity and complication in life. As long as we hang on to hope and work on finding a solution, there will be light at the end of whatever tunnel we are in. I do not pretend to know everything or for that matter, anything of substance. In fact, the more I study, learn, and think about the vast wisdom and knowledge out there, the more I realised how little I know about life and the ways of life. Hence, I have always ended my article by asking readers to continue to teach me. For I, too, am a sojourner in the exploration of truth and the adventure of finding meaning, purpose, and significance for my existence. I am proud of and make no apology for being a Christian, albeit not the most exemplary one. I believe our Creator can lead and guide us to be the best that we can ever be. I bear full responsibility for the shortcoming and error in my life, including my words. The fault is entirely mine and not due to anyone else. Readers have and can exercise the power of choice. They can discard what will not work for them and adopt those that can propel them further and faster in the pursuit of better performance, outcomes, and fulfillment. If I have disappointed or hurt you in any way, form, or manner, I would like to apologise to you. Please do not hold them against me or whoever or whatever is related to me. There are much to pray about, learn, and do. And I'll work on them with a sense of urgency. I hold on to the belief that 'Anything worth doing is worth doing with passion and excellence'. I'll endeavour to live by it. Life is short. There's no dress rehearsal and neither can we turn back the clock to change the drama of life. Therefore, by the grace and power of our Creator, let's live a full life and live it to the fullest. May God bless you abundantly on the journey of life. Your online servant, Patrick Liew I hope this message will find a place in your heart. By the way, I have also recorded other reflections. Please 'Like' me on Visit my Inspiration blog at For my opinions on social affairs, please visit my Transformation blog at Please visit my website, Please read my reflection and continue to teach me. Life is FUNtastic!

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