My Contrarian View About Kiasu Spirit

I was thinking about the infamous “kiasu” spirit.

We laugh over it and criticize it. But there’s also a good side to it.

Think about it.

1. Kiasuism can prevent us from being reckless and compel us to take calculated risks.

2. Kiasuism can help us to be paranoid and being paranoid is not necessarily a bad thing.

Wasn’t it Andrew Grove, one of the founders of Intel who once said, “Only the paranoid survives”.

When you’re kept on your toes, you tread more carefully, learn to balance, and plod a safer and more sustainable path to success.

3. When a person is kiasu, he will not be complacent.

He knows that if he slackens and takes his eyes off the ball, he may end up losing everything.

4. To live up to his kiasu belief, a person will have to constantly look over his shoulder.

He will monitor the performance of his competitors and benchmark himself against others so that he will not be overtaken.

To do so, he’ll have to enhance his values and value-additions and creations so as to achieve a higher performance and results.

Kiasuism will therefore drive him to stand out from the crowd and stay ahead.

5. According to Professor Ciadini, people have a tendency to act in accordance to their beliefs.

Therefore, when a person subscribes to kiasuism, he will work harder so that he’ll win at the end of the road, no matter how long the road will take him.

What’s important is not to kill the kiasu spirit but to harness and channel the spirit to the right cause and to win for the right purpose.

In school, we should win at developing sound character and values and developing future-ready skills – not just getting good grades.

At work, we should win at helping our employers and our colleagues to do well and do good – and not just aim to get promoted and earn higher salaries.

As a people, we should win by aiming to build a livable and lovable country that will bring love, joy and peace to one and all.

We should never fight for our ethnocentric interests. We should do our part for the country.

6. A healthy kiasu person empathizes and sympathizes with the last, the least, the lost and the lonely.

It takes a kiasu person to understand a kiasu person and feel for the people who have fallen out on the journey of life or fallen through the cracks.

A kiasu person will reach out to them and help them on their feet.

He’ll get them started because he knows that, in the final analysis, helping others is the best outcomes for a true winner.

When he realizes that, the “Kiasu” spirit will become a “Huat Ah!” and “Cheonging” Spirit. A spirit that helps one and all to prosper and succeed together.


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

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

Please ‘Like’ me on

Please visit my website,

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Visit my Inspiration blog at

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

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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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