The Speedo Factor 4.0

The Speedo Factor 4.0

I want to share with you what I call the Speedo Factor.

When I was in school, I chose long-distance running and long-distance swimming as part of my co-curricular activities (CCA).

Why? Because in my school, those were the only sports I could train at my own time. I therefore had more flexibility to pursue other interests.

I thought that was the reason for choosing the sports but our Creator had another purpose in mind. Those two sports taught me how to develop perseverance so that I can achieve worthwhile goals.

As my family was poor, I could not afford to own a decent swimming trunk. I would use a hand-me-down from one of my older brothers or friends.

My dream was to own a Speedo trunk. It was and still is one of the most expensive brands of trunks.

Back then, I was using a trunk with yellow elephant faces imprinted on a maroon background. It had a golden buckle, but the paint was chipped off over time. Strange looking trunk, to say the least.

One of the elephant faces was positioned right at…you know where. And it was hard to cover it when I was walking on land.

When I took up position for a race, I could almost feel the other swimmers laughing in their hearts at my trunk. I had the funny feeling that people in the gallery were also amused by it.

Fortunately, I got used to it and was able to focus on swimming. At the end of each race – guess what? I always won.

I became the best breaststroke swimmer in my entire school.

Since then, I have always appreciated the wisdom of the Ah Beng proverb, “If you can swim, you can swim. If you can’t, don’t blame the swimming trunk.”

When my daughters were much younger, they once asked me, “Daddy do you know why you won?”

Hoping to finally get a compliment from them, I responded with abated breath, “Why?”

With a cheeky smile, they would chorus, “Because when the other swimmers saw your trunk, they laughed until they had stomach cramps!”

They went on to let out one of the best or worst ego-bursting laughters depending on your value system. With daughters like mine, it’s hard to be proud.

When I was no longer involved in competitive swimming, I would dream every now and then of owning a Speedo trunk. When I passed a retail outlet and if I’m free, I might drop in to check out the Speedo designs and prices.

Did I finally buy a Speedo trunk? Good question.

Since you asked, I will let you know if you read on. There’s a powerful lesson at the end of this blogpost.

When I was much younger, I had thought that it would feel good to wear a branded product. I had this thought that people would be more attracted to me because of my Speedo trunk.

It would give me a sense of pride, pleasure or prestige. Spin doctors would call it the “I have arrived” feeling.

I was deeply mistaken.

The more I thought about it and the longer I delayed my buying decision, the more I appreciated the value of delayed gratification.

In the past, I had bought a lot of things out of want and not out of need. I might not have felt it that way but over time, I realized I didn’t need these stuffs at all.

If I had bought them at the spur of the moment, I would oftentimes not get the best deal.

More importantly, I realised if I acquired something just to impress others, I would cultivate an unhealthy self esteem and a poor value system.

If my friends were attracted to me because of my possession, they were usually not the kind of friends I should have in life.

Delayed gratification is one of the means to achieve sustainable success.

The correlation between delayed gratification and long term success had been proven in a study by Michael Mischel in Standford University.

Michael found that children who exercised more self-control in fulfilling their wants became more positive, self-motivated, and resilient in achieving their goals. As a result, they became more successful in life.

It is hard to practice delayed gratification in an “instant fixes” society. Most people are looking for easy ways, short cuts, get-rich-quick schemes, and on-demand pleasures.

Delayed gratification requires self-control, discipline and perseverance. These are also traits that are common in many successful people.

When I studied these people, I found that they are masters in controlling their urge for immediate gratification. They know that success requires self-mastery, determination and hard work.

Successful people are committed to develop the skill of delayed gratification through self-restraint, training, and constant practice.

Learning the skill of delayed gratification can also offer many other benefits.

When I was young, I learned that if I spent wisely, I could save a little money at a time. Over time, the savings will add up to a lot of money.

I can then do many wonderful things for the people around me with the money.

Delayed gratification also helps me to live a simple life.

Living simply is an important key to achieving happiness and success.

Let me illustrate.

Years ago, I had a diamond-studded Rolex watch. One day after a swim at a country club, I showered and left my watch in the soap box.

I came out of the toilet to comb my hair. When I turned around to retrieve my watch, it was gone. That made me unhappy for a while.

Another time, I lost a pair of designer’s leather boots that meant a lot to me. It left me upset for a period of time.

I realized that if I do not have these belongings and feel attached to them, I can be a happier person.

I will be able to better focus on more meaningful and fulfilling pursuits.

Too often, I over-complicated my life. I lived by things that did not add real and sustainable values.

I bought into the falsehood perpetuated by advertisements in a materialistic world.

I ended up pursuing and owning stuffs that gave me a temporary sense of happiness. Eventually, it left me feeling empty inside because these stuffs did not bring true fulfillment to my life.

To make matters worse, it could have made me vain, greedy and discontented.

I was not any wiser or better when I accumulated more and more possessions and more and more toys around me.

I came with nothing and will leave with nothing, why do I need more stuffs?

When I decided to live a simple life, I gave away many expensive belongings to my friends. It gave me a lot of happiness when they are touched by my gifts.

I have learned to spend less money, buy less things, and give more of myself to what really matters.

Devote myself to serving our Creator, my family, my company, my friends, and our planet. By living simply, I can achieve better results for them.

When I live a simple life (I don’t even have a watch) and have less baggages to carry, I can run better, easier and faster in life. And feel happier too.

All these lessons were learned when I thought about having a Speedo trunk.

Together, they form what I call the Speedo Factor.

For those who really need to know, yes, I finally bought a Speedo trunk at a Sale – the design I wanted and for a good price too.

I just realized while writing this blogpost that since then I have only worn it twice.

I learned the Speedo Factor lesson again!

Swimming anyone?


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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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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