Saturday, January 31, 2009
Friday, January 30, 2009
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Tip 1 Take a different route to work
I began to be more alert of the things along the journey. Sometimes new building seems to pop up because I was not aware of it earlier on.
Tip 2 Do something wacky
There are times when I just go to the market, buy some fresh chicken meat and seafood and go to the beach and have a barbecue. Unplanned and out of the spur of the moment. It is truly exciting.
Tip 3 Google and search for your dream vacation
This is dream possibility activity. it is an exhilarating experience to find out more about your dream vacation that you wanna take. Forget about the cost and any boundaries that you may have set in your mind. Just have fun exploring it with google map and website reference.
Tip 4 Tune in to a different kind of music
Tip 6 Try out new food
One of life's pleasure is to delight the palate with variety of food. If you haven't tried Italian cuisine make an appointment to savor authentic Italian food.
Monday, January 26, 2009
Sunday, January 25, 2009
This is the time of year where immediate family from near and afar make every effort to come together at the parents or eldest house to have a sumptuous dinner on the eve of new year. It is not so much different from the other festive such as Christmas, Hari Raya, Thanksgiving and etc.
This year we are welcoming the year of the Ox. Good bye Rat and Hello Ox. Since I am a sino kadazan and was not raise in a typical Chinese family, I still find the origin and the respective animal characteristic of the Chinese Zodiac fascinating to know. The Chinese has many tradition and taboos, depending on which Chinese ethnic you belong too. I remember my late grandmother would cautious us not to sweep the floor or wash anything on the first day of Chinese new year as it will chase away the prosperity and good luck. I am not a firm believer but I prefer to observe the taboo out of respect to the tradition.
What's the do and don't being practice in your area?
Saturday, January 24, 2009
One of the common frustration in communication is that the intended message is misinterpreted by the listener unintentionally. Here are some of the various reasons that may be the cause:
- The wrong manner of tone used in conveying the message
- The body language in congruence with the words being said
- The messenger's limited choice of words used to describe the experience
- The preconceived assumption by the listener
- The different sensory preference between messenger and listener use in interpreting experience.
- Lack of rapport between the two parties
- Different cultural background
- Different level of education
I first became aware of the technology of NLP from the book "Awaken the Giant" authored by Anthony Robbins. I am a great admirer of his work which have helped many people to create sustainable change. Thats the reason , I took the course in NLP conducted by master trainer Dr. William Horton from NFNLP. One of the presuppositions that I'd learned is that the meaning of your communication is the response you get. How liberating that statement was for me. To me, it meant, if people was not responding in the manner that I wanted them to, I have conveyed the message ineffectively.
I felt a sense of empowerment because now, I began to take responsibility how to choose my response rather than reacting to the situation. Practicing flexibility in my approach has brought about a more positive outcome. It dawned on me then, my focus now is on the other person and not about wallowing in frustration. It has helped me a lot in communicating with my children. Just the other day, Ryan (eldest son) was folding his arms and fuming with frustration. When he displays this behaviour, it is difficult to get him to do anything else. I decided to create a rapport with him and so I too folded my arms make the sound of frustration. I pretended to look away from him and later at the corner of my eyes, I caught him making a little smile, from then on I began to talk to him,
Next time when you are faced with this frustrating situation especially with difficult people, focus on creating rapport first before saying anything. Don't just believe what I say, try it out and let me know the outcome.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Here the older generations gathered to talk about anything under the sun. It is not surprising to observe how one can sit and sip a cup of coffee for hours. In this informal setting, people put forward their opinions from politics, economy and current events. If you sit a little longer , you will notice people from all walks of life gathering regardless social status.
When I was managing an insurance agency force, the coffeeshop is the focal place where we bond on a more personal level. I must attest that sometimes, coffeeshop small talk do bring in business.
It is all about relationship, a meeting place where one can feel comfortable with each other and share about things. In any organisation, I feel it is important to have a common ritual where all staff gather to meet and talk openly. I recall reading about the former GE chairman Jack Welch implemented the Work Out strategy, how staff began to contribute workable ideas though the informal gathering.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
"There is little difference in people, but the little difference makes a big difference. The little difference is attitude. The big difference is whether it is positive or negative"
Monday, January 19, 2009
"Mr. Cheah want to see you" a school mate told me . I was in form two then (26 years go) and the disturbing message causes my heart to pound fast and hard against my fragile chest. I though to myself "what have I done wrong?" The late Constantine Cheah is the school disciplinary teacher and the vice principal. His dressing is his personal trademark. Dressed up in white collared short sleeve shirt and with long white pants, with a cane tucked under his arm. His presence can send shivers to every students as he was a tall, thin and stern looking man. As St Anthony was a missionary school in the earlier years, discipline and respect for others are important daily practices to be strictly observed. Silent befalls the room everytime he passes the classroom corridor.
Father John Var Der Salm (Left) with Constantine Cheah (Right)
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Friday, January 16, 2009
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Though I am not an expert on trees, I began to ponder on some of the possibilities why there is a distinct variation between the trees. Both of the trees are of the same height but one look undernourished though it is just a few feet apart. The tropical climate here is sunshine all year round and rain mostly towards the year end till early of the year. So the climate is not the reason why the tree is losing it's figs because both receive the same amount of sunshine and water, furthermore it's close proximity to each other. Perhaps the other trees is sapping up the nutrients from the ground away from the other tree. Maybe it is able to do so due to it's better root network.
In my biology studies , I have learned some tree will grow it's root as wide and deep for it to extract nutrients and water from the ground. Aside from this, it holds the tree down firmly against the treacherous weather.
Our belief is our part of our root. What we believe will determine the outcome in our life. In my NLP studies, most of the time we believe something to be true however it is sometimes not based on real facts. I remembered when I was 7 years old, my late grandmother told me not to point at the rainbow or else my finger will be crooked. Later in life , I discovered that the belief has no basis. I am sure that the origin of the belief was for a good reason.
Is your current beliefs holding you back or opening doors of opportunities?
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
There are not many people who have the opportunity to have work with such a strong and stable company.In today's competitive environment, there are many companies that may not even pass the 20 years mark. The recent investment scandal, the crash of the sub prime market in U.S, sudden rise and fall of commodities prices can shortened the future of any companies.
I had the opportunities to have met few business people who is generating income from multiple sources. I think it is very important that we do not put all our security in just one basket. Leveraging on other people time (OPT) and other people money (OPT) is one way to catapult ourselves to success in a shorter time. However, in order to be able to manage OPT and OPM requires the right knowledge, right timing and knowing the right people.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Yesterday as I glance through the pages of the newspaper, I came across a rather worrying headline which read "Overwork the silent killer in Japan" . People were actually working themselves to death. In Japan, they call it the "Karoshi" whic is translate as death by overwork. Since my schooling days, I have heard tragic stories about the alarming rate of students committing suicide because they were not be able to cope up with their studies and peer pressure. It is known that Japanese are very competitive people and have strong commitment to work. it seems that the more advance the society evolved, the more it relive the law of the jungle. it is simply means only the fittest and strongest will survive.
With the ailing economy, the need to be competitive, and to care for our family, drives people to work 70 hours week. This will lead to high stress level, possibly plunge into depression and may also develop heart related diseases. Then we are going to use all the money that meant to be saved for medical treatment. There must be a better way.
My intention here is not to highlight about the negative news but I feel that there is more to life than just being driven by external factors to make a living. Yes, it is true that life can be hard at times. However this should not prevent us from the ability to choose how we respond to the situation. the day we have decided that we have no choice, we have already loss the will to live.
Monday, January 12, 2009
I have been a fan of Dr. Steven Covey, who authored the highly acclaimed book "The 7th Habits of highly Effective People" which was published in 1989. Though the content has been written more than 20 years ago, the principles taught is timeless and still very much applicable. One of the liberating lessons which I learned is about the freedom to choose our responses. The following is extracted from his book.
Between stimulus and response is a space. in that space lies our freedom and power to choose our response. In those choices lie our growth and our happiness. No matter what has happened, there is a space between those events and our responses to them. If there is even a fraction of a second between stimulus and response, that space represents our power to choose our response to any situation. The key is to enlarge our "Freedom to choose" space.
On the 27th December, I was asked to be the MC for my brother in law's wedding dinner. In the past I have seen many unexpected things can happen and so I have decided to stay calm regardless what might happen. True enough something did go wrong, the food which was scheduled to come out at 8.00 PM, was delayed till 8.30 PM. I decided to keep my head cool and inserted other programs in-between. Though it was stressful, taking hold of my ability to choose my response has helped me to use my creativity to save the day.
Sunday, January 11, 2009
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It is good to form the habit of validating people every single day as this will send out more and more positive vibes into the world. Something we need to balance of the negative news in the world today. We can begin with our family members. Tell them
“What I appreciate most about you today is … [Fill in a specific, observable behavior you want to validate]"
e.g What I appreciate most about you is your smile. It brightens my day.
Lets, together try it out on 3 person everyday for a week and see what happen. I will share my personal findings next week.
Saturday, January 10, 2009
1.) I accept myself fully just as I am.
2.) I believe others behave as they do for good reasons.
3.) My opinion of myself is more important than others' opinion of me.
4.) If I recall the past, I concentrate only on pleasant memories.
5.) I forgive myself for my mistakes.
6.) I do not punish myself regardless of how others feel.
7.) I am not afraid of failure or defeat.
8.) I do not compare myself unfavourably with others.
9.) I do not allow anyone to persuade me to do the things against my will.
10.) I regard problems as opportunities to improvw my life.
11.) I do not insist others adopt my standards and ideals.
12.) I do not punish myself by feeling bad.
13.) I encourage others to grow and mature rather than to depend on me.
14.) I do not look up or down on anyone.
For those areas that you have check as NO, it is good to take time to examine the underlying reason why you behave it that manner. It is even more helpful if you could discuss this matter with a certified life coach that may assist you in clarfying unresolve issues and concerns.It is said that the number 1 roadblock in most people in not achieving their goals is low self esteem.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
When I was little, I use to watch my late grandmother winding an old wooden grandfather clock with a white clock face every few days. It can be mesmerising at times to just sit and watch the pendulum swinging from left to right to left. When I recall that clock, I can still hear the sound it my head.. tick tock tick tock tick tock. Since the clock is in my grandmother's room, she would look at it before leaving the room.
Before my grandmother winds the clock up, she would first stop the clock's pendulum and proceed with inserting a special key into a small little hole and start turning it anti clock wise. I not sure how many turns she made but I can hear the clicking mechanism made. Once she have done so, she will swing the pendulum and clock resumes it's movement.
Clock is an instrument that shows the passing of time. We all have heard the phrase" Time waits for no one" Indeed it is true. I realise that we all give different meaning to time. Especially in the city time seems to fly past us quickly. We are so often busy with chores and events, we are not aware of the passing of time. However if we are sick and lying in bed, the clock seems to tick away slowly and painfully. We become very conscious of the minute hand.
When I was visiting my auntie in the Kampung (countryside) back in the 80's, Time seems to stood still. There was no TV only the music being played from the radio, Some houses between each other is nearly a mile apart. In the night, I would sit in the veranda enjoying the cool night breeze and listening to my mother exchanging stories with my aunt. Though it is pitch dark with minimal lighting in the area, I can hear the neighbours talking even though the house way down the gravel road. Today, all this have change, they have installed cable TV which show 24 hours television. There goes the peaceful and tranquil environment.
I want to share this poem taken from a passage in the bible.
To Everything There is a Season
To everything there is a season. A time for every purpose under Heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die
A time to plant and a time to pluck what is planted
A time to kill and a time to heal
A time to break down and a time to build up
A time to cast away stones and a time to gather stones
A time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing
A time to gain and a time to lose
A time to keep and a time to cast away
A time to tear and a time to sew
A time to keep silence and a time to speak
A time of love and a time of hate
A time of war and a time of peace
Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8
This poem is meaningful to me, because it reminds me that there is time for everything.The most precious gift a man has, is time. We can never get it back because the clock keeps on ticking. Tick- Tock, Tick -Tock ,Tick Tock.
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
On the 2nd of January, I lost my set of keys which opens to my home and office. I Searched frantically though out my whole house, my cars but to no avail. I tried backtracking my activities since my realization and search thereon. Still cannot find it. I enquired at the coffee-shop which I regularly have my breakfast, the hotel which I stayed on new years eve, my office, the bar I patronise and still no keys.
Monday, January 5, 2009
I find it is easier to be grateful if we focus on what we are not lacking or not have. Here is my GRATEFUL list for today.
1.) I am grateful that the facilities in my home is sufficient, hot water to shower in the morning, electricity to light up the house and powered up my washing machine and etc.
2.) I am grateful that I have a three beautiful children and a loving wife who really care for the family and my companion.
3.) I am grateful for Sr Francisca, Gerard , Late Constantine Cheah whom guided me when I first started out in my early adult life. There are more names to fill up many pages. I will aknowledge them as I continue my posting.
4.) I am grateful for my father and mother, who made sure that we were brought up proper and never lacking in basic neccesity. My father had to work 2 jobs to support the family.
5.) I am grateful that I always have enough to continue support my family
6.) I am grateful for having such a good team at work. Their individual uniquesness truly make life interesting.
7.) I am grateful for having the chance to travel to overseas and learn first hand about people's aspiration and their culture. Actually they are more commonality between us rather than differences.
8.) I am grateful for the communication technology made available today. Now, it so much easier to keep track of all my friends.
9.) I am grateful that my parents brought me to the library every fortnightly. This is how the love for reading is cultivated.
10.) I am grateful for being healthy and able to use all my body motor skills to go places, to do things and to connect with other people.
I feel so much better now . Why not give it a try and see whether it helps you too.
Sunday, January 4, 2009
As the social problem is on the rise, we need more and more people to come forward to be the guiding hand. Parents need to take quality time to teach strong moral values to their children. As a parent myself, I cannot continue to give excuse that I do not have time reason being, work commitment. Isn't it ironic, we have all the inventions in the world to help us save time and yet we have less time.
I was glad then , I had a counselor, a friend and a mentor who offeed guidance in my late teens and early adult life. A person whom I can openly talk too and consult with when I was facing difficult times. Today , I want to say thank you to Sr. Francisca for taking the time to listen and provide guidance. She is a good listener and gifted in asking soul searching questions , very much focus on my personal feelings towards the issues. As I try to answer the questions myself, the solution gradually become clearer for me. I have lost contact with her since then as the Franciscan sister tend to be posted to serve in different convents on a rotational basis. I am making it my goal to locate her and give her a thank you note.
Saturday, January 3, 2009
When you given a short leased in in life, people may experience a paradigm shift about life. May you be inspired as I have.
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Friday, January 2, 2009
Lesson 1- Always expect the unexpected and focus on taking action.
Life sometimes throw you a lot of challenges at you , and sometimes at the worst possible moments. If we are watching a movie and it does not have any twist to it, the movie will be dull and a waste of time to watch.
My company is undergoing a merger and there is an uncertainty that surrounds the organisation. No one want to talk about it, hoping that it will just go away . Murmurs and rumours spreading like contagious virus spreading though the grapevine about the possible unemployment. I have decided that worrying about it will not elevate me from the pain but rather confronting it and taking concrete action. It is like they say "Taking hold the bull by it's horn". Life is more that just a job and perhaps this can be a blessing in disguise.
Lesson 2 - Invest in personal development
In 2008 , I have invested few thousand of my savings in attending seminars. It seems painful at first to depart from my savings, unsure whether it is the right choice.Unlike the tangible products, the value is the change in thinking, attitude and new found friendship that I have gained from the course. It was money well invested. Added knowledge expand my horizon and open doors to many new opportunities.
Lesson 3.- Keep your phonebook updated
In my handphone , I have close to 800 names, and be frank some of the names I have forgotten where i have met this person and there are names that are the same especially common names like Andy, Michael and so forth but refering to different persons. I am going to make it a point to update and keep in touch with all this people as who knows abundance blessings can be waiting at the doorsteps.
Lesson 4 - Focus on understanding the other's person map first before communicating.
Many conflict can be resolve , if we just listen and make effort to understand the frame of mind of the other person. I learned this from my son ryan who is having down syndrome. When I shifted my attention to him first and attend to his needs, I found it is so much easier to get him to do what I want.
Lesson 5 - Don't take life too seriously, Look for the FUN element.
People tell me that I am a serious pool player. Whenever I play , I tend to be totally absorb into the game and often put on a serious face. I have learned that it is not about winning the game but how much fun I had in playing the game. Of course winning makes it even more sweeter.
Lesson 6 - Spend consciously
Before spending the money on things that you think you need and later not using it. I find that delaying my purchase helps to rethink whether it is necessarily. Shopping with a list worked well with me as I am focus on what is needed rather than distracted by the ongoing promotion.
Lesson 7- Focus on what is within control
In the past I often get worked up when the unexpected happen. After reading the book "The seven habits of highlt effective people", I decided to put into practice what I have read. Separate the things that is within control from the things that is beyond control. this simple concept helps me to keep calm and focus what is actionable. It is truly amazing how some ideas can liberate you from stress.
Whats your insight for 2008?
Thursday, January 1, 2009
New year day, woke up 7.30 in morning and took a drive round town to buy breakfast for my family who were still sleeping. They partied late night with the uncles, aunties and cousins. I on the other hand, slept early just after the count down as I was a little tipsy from the beer I have taken earlier. It was pouring cats and dogs just after midnight. Glad I was not caught in any traffic jam but on the comfort of my hotel bed. I though to myself would 't it be great to wake up everyday like this. A peaceful and comfortable environment. I must put this as my goal for the year. Well, according to the law of attraction from "the Secret", whatever the mind focus on whether positive or negative, it will come to reality.
As I was planning and setting my 2009 goals, I have decided to do something differently this year. Instead of focusing on everything I wanted to have and achieve, it is my desire to help 3 people to succeed as one of my goal. I will considered it accomplished, if these 3 people will live a better quality life after I have helped them. This is not a new concept as it was make popular in the movie "Pay it forward". Intresting movie to watch.
So what's your Goal for the year?