I was kidnapped…

The darkness of the room was like nothing I have experienced before. It was like a blanket engulfing me s-l-o-w-l-y – and strangling me at my deepest core.

I was lying on what should have been a comfortable bed – but it felt hard to me. It was like I was being glued to it and lowered into the ground.

As I stared into pitch darkness, the eyes of my mind gradually took over. Darkness began to fade, overpowered by what I saw.

I finally understood what many people experienced at the brink of their death – I was watching a mental movie of my life.

These words might sound like a cliché but they must have meant something before they were being overused.

I saw myself from the day I was born till that moment – reliving the ebb and flow of my life. That night, familiar scenes took on a different meaning.

That experience was a life transformational event for me. It happened in 1991 and from then on, I felt like a totally different person.

I was kidnapped.

I was abducted and locked up in what we would call in Singapore a bungalow, a well furnished house that belonged to only the rich and famous. That near-death experience happened in a “third-world country,” a term that has become politically unacceptable today.

The people watching over me were part of a consortium, comprising soldiers, policemen and ‘businesspersons.’ As an entrepreneur, I could tell they had put together the right ‘talents’ for their ‘profit-making venture.’

Their ‘business model’ was so good. I actually joked with them to sell me a share of their “business.” I could recommend them much better “clientele,” including my favourite competitors and fb friends.

“Do you know what this is?” one of the burly-looking guards asked me one evening. He was clearly bored after watching over me for another uneventful day.

“Of course,” I replied, “This is an AR15 rifle – grandfather of the M16. I used it while serving my national service as an infantry soldier.

“Hand it over to me. I can even show you how to strip it blindfolded.”

He broke into a wide grin at the audacity of my request. I was trying to put up a brave front while engaging him in a casual conversation.

I was doing what I was good at – putting smiles on faces.

Obviously, today I can joke about the experience. Back then, you would never be able to imagine the fear that pounded relentlessly at my heart.

The tension in the air was so strong, it was almost choking. I had no clue if I would ever get out alive. I was not sure if I would ever see my loved ones again.

I didn’t know whether my next few heartbeats would be my last few heartbeats.

I was too young to die.

There were many things that I did not do. There were many things that I still wanted to do with my life.

Every night, the guards would lead me to a small room. Shortly after that, I would hear the turning of the key and the lights would go off.

Darkness became my only companion.

While lying on the bed and watching scenes of the past, many questions crossed my mind.

What’s the meaning of life?

Have I made full use of my life?

If my life should end, how would I evaluate my life?

What would others say about my life?

How would I account for my life to our Creator?

I had to examine almost every key area of my life. Every belief and assumption was being questioned.

I felt like I was being forced to put every major part of my life under a microscope.

Some of my friends have asked me if I had any regrets at that point in time.

Contrary to what some writers believed, when my life was hanging by a thread, there were feelings of regret and remorse.

My regrets had little to do with what many people were pursuing throughout their life.

What I thought matter did not really matter. What counted in life could not be counted.

I have since then coined the term, the 5Ps in life – namely prestige, power, position, possession and pleasure. None of these factors took centrestage when my life was literally one breath away.

The thoughts that went through my mind were not so much about what I had gained in my life but what I had given to others. It was not about the quantity of possessions but quality of my contributions.

I was less concerned about losing my life than about not living my life wisely.

I was troubled that I had not lived my life to the fullest and made full use of my life.

My greatest regrets were more about omissions than commissions. It had to do with the things that I should have done and done more with my life.

I wished I had done more for our Creator, my loved ones and the people around me. I should have contributed more to my community and the environment.

When I was finally released, I was not sad about the money that I lost because the experience was worth every cent. The experience was priceless.

I came out with a new heart.

Since then, I have coined an aspiration value:

“The best way to live my life is to live my life for others. The more I reach out to bless other lives, the richer and better my life will become.”

I want to inspire others to greatness so that when it’s time for them to watch their life story, they will enjoy the mental movie.

They will be happy to have lived a full life. There will be a great sense of fulfillment because of their success. Their lives will count in eternity.

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

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

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

Please read my reflections and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!

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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 https://m.facebook.com/patrickliewsg 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/ Please visit my website, http://www.patrickliew.net Please read my reflection and continue to teach me. Life is FUNtastic!

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