Saturday, February 28, 2009

Building competencies through continuos learning

Since school days, I have always believe in taking responsibility in my self learning. I place high value in continuous education in my life. Completing school education is just the beginning of the journey to many new discovery. Through updating knowledge, it is much easier to conceive and develop new ideas. It is my opinion that bankrupt of ideas are the reason most business fail. Without ideas, we may are not able to innovate new products to meet changing customer demands. Absence of ideas also stops us from moving forward in our business. And so , I strive top fill the ideas vault as much as possible.

Aside from reading, I attend all kind of seminars for breakthrough thinking. One such seminar, I am attending today is the Internet marketing coaching. Something new to me and that's make it even more exciting. With this new found knowledge , I am looking forward to build a foundation for me to have the option to change my future lifestyle.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Opportunities in recession

Back in 1997 , when the Asean countries were badly hit by the financial tsunami , I have seen friends closing down their businesses while others made lots of money. The popular phrase at that time was " Cash is King " because the person who had reserves was able to take the opportunity to buy businesses and properties far below their actual value. Many business and properties was on forced sale due to inability to meet the monthly loan commitment. Though some may see them as preying vultures but reality is opportunites comes to those who are prepared. My ex boss taught me " be prepared always". I learned something new the other day, someone commented "Stay prepared" so you will always be ready when the times come. All the cash king had to do was to hold on and ride the storm until it died down before selling it as capital gain. I was then without cash and heavily in debts but I manage to overcome the difficult period. 

I'd made a resolution that I will be better prepared the next time round so I can also have a piece of the cake myself. 12 years have passed and now the return of another financial crisis which is predicted to be far worst. This time round I am prepared in the sense that I have armed myself with more skills and learning how to use the internet platform to leverage my business. For those who are not prepared, find ways to equip yourselves with new skills. By adding new skills and competencies, the door of opportunities is much more open and your ability to adapt to new jobs better. Intensifying networking activity during this period can bring about new ventures and hopefully additional income revenue. 

Stay focus on what needs to be done and hope for the best. There are many things in life that we can control and this is not one of it. We can only choose our responds.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Dream come true

As I was cleaning up my work desk, I discover this original F1 ticket. Many year ago, when I watch the F1 race on TV, I told myself," wouldn't it great to attend a live race". In 2005 , I was in KL attending a sales meeting and after the session, a friend of mine told me whether I wanted 2 free tickets(paid for) to F1 at Sepang international circuit. I jump over the chance and could not believe my luck. Each ticket cost RM500 and it was given to me for free. I was trilled and had an experience of a lifetime. The race day atmosphere is highly charged with the loud and deafening roaring engines, beautiful F1 ladies , colourful racing flags and the crowd.

Dreams do come true. And this reminds me of the Law of attraction that states that whatever held in thought long enough and with positive expectation will come true.

Energise your day

Two years ago , when the my company was experiencing a tough period due to lowered sales and competitors onslaught, the management decided to do something to boost the employees morale. Tough time needs tough minded people. And so , they engaged a dynamic speaker Dr. Lawrence Walter to conduct a charged up session for all the staff especially the front liners in sales and service. The 2 hour session was very impactful as the speaker skillfully lead the audience to an excited outcome. It was truly electrifying when you get a room filled with excited people.

The speaker role was to coax the fire that has always been inside us. I have always believe in stirring the fire intentionally everyday. We are responsible for our state we are in. Until we hold ourselves accountable, we are always looking for external booster.Yes, there are days that its very difficult but with regularly disciplining your thoughts, it can be done.

The above poster was given out to the participants after the session. I have since stick in on to my table as to remind myself to have a positive attitude everyday.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Stage time, stage time & stage time

"Stage time, stage time and stage time."This phrase was coined by my favourite public speaker Darren Lacroix. He won the 2001 Toastmasters international speaking contest and have been helping others to succeed with their speaking delivery ever since. It was worth  investing in his videos and audio series because he will show you the do and don't of public speaking. I think it is wise to learn from someones mistake rather than making it yourself. Ouuucch ... at least it does not hurt so much now.

Tonight Labuan toastmasters club is having another exciting evening , the theme for tonight is pirate's night. The best part of the evening is usually the speakers delivering their speeches and we can learn so much from them by evaluating. The toastmasters club purpose is to provide a positive and encouraging environment whereby participants can have a constructive feedback for improvement after their speeches. Of course , those who are serious about speaking and taking their speaking a few notches up, hiring a speaking coach will speed up the process.  

Speaking before an audience is still hard work for me. It is not merely standing up and speak but what message will be carried away after hearing me speak. The only way to improve is to do lots and lots of stage time. Like my mentor Darren shared, never turn down stage time eventhough you are not prepared. Making mistakes along the way, can be forgiven but not turning it down. No matter how bad you think you were up there, the only difference is that you will only be better the  next stage time. 

Monday, February 23, 2009

A lifetime commitment

Last Saturday, my wife Liza and I attended our good friend Richard and Juliana son's wedding. It was held at the grand 5 star Sangrila Tanjung Aru Resort (STAR) Kota Kinabalu. The ballroom was beautifully decorated and the 8 course dinner servings was delightful. Sitting arrangement is predetermine and mapped out by the organiser as to smooth out the evening flow often according to familiar group.

Personally, I have preference for outdoor traditional wedding celebration especially in the Kampung (village). Since I am Sino Kadazan( partial Sabah native descendant), I have been invited to few of such wedding reception.We were free to mingle around and the guest are more open and  involved especially in the traditional dances. I also enjoy Filipinos wedding where guests will sing and dance to make the event a lively one. Of course drinks are often free flow which makes the night even merrier.

Attending wedding dinner gives the opportunity to meet new people and added motive for people who are in  sales  such as network marketing, insurance agents and etc. It is much easier to build rapport here due to common friendship with the groom, bride or their respective families. 

Nowadays, most people especially the Chinese guest often give money in red packet a.k.a "Ang pow" to the wedding couple instead of gifts. Usually Ang pow is much preferred then gifts since the couples are able to start a new with the money collected.

Divorce rate is alarming in some countries and in Malaysia there is an indication that this is on the rise. It is really sad that for some couples, the stories does not end with the line "and they live happily ever after". Though Liza and I have been married for 11 years after 6 years of courting there are so much more to discover about each other. It is not about how long you are married but how deep is the conversation between each other. Attending wedding ceremony , reminds me that it indeed takes a lot of effort and patience to make a marriage work. One thing I have learned is that marriage cannot  be based on feelings as the feelings will soon fade away. It need to be based on keeping the little commitment, having a sense of playfulness and to keep building on the trust.  

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Tamu in Sabah

As I look out from my 4th floor  hotel room balcony on an early Sunday morning, the street down below was starting to be bustling with activities. Every Sunday morning, vegetables, meat and food sellers gathered to  sell their goods on the street. The local authority have gazetted this area for the weekend trading  as long as I can remembered.  I can still recall when I was only 16 years old living in the boarding school, a ten minutes walk away, I frequently visited this place on Sundays to buy my breakfast because of the choices and low price.There have all kind of varieties such as the local cakes, nasi lemak, banana and potato fritters , fried noodles with young tau foo and pork in black sauce and many more on sales. You can also find beautifully crafted local handicrafts such as pots, rattan basket and attractive colourful beads jewelry. In Malaysia, This is known as "Tamu" and can be found in most town in Sabah on certain days. I guess it is similar to the flea market concept.

If you ever make it to Borneo Sabah, be sure to visit the famous " Gaya Street tamu" held every Sunday as early as 6 am in the morning till mid noon at Gaya street in Kota Kinabalu. Take a stroll here and you can find all kind of interesting things ranging from potted plants, hardware tools, local artist painting to food and local medicine.  Price are subjective as you can try your hand at negotiating to get a good bargain. Frankly speaking, I am not really good at that but my wife Liza is. It will be jammed pack with tourist and local alike hoping to discover new interesting things.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Expect the unexpected

Have it ever happen to you when things don’t go the way you planned it? This is one Saturday of such nature. I called it an adventure because so many unplanned things happen. There is the earlier rescheduling of the product training on Friday 3.30 pm which supposedly to be on the following Monday.  5 managers from Sabah will be attending together with my team in Labuan. Their attendance is on ad hoc basis. However I always look forward to meeting up with them as they are fun bunch of lots. We have been through many ups and downs together. Like any close knitted family we sometimes bicker about little things but that is normal and healthy.

My weekend plan

Earlier I have planned to travel down to KK on early Saturday morning with my wife Liza so we can have the weekend to ourselves at the same time attending my good friend Richard son’s wedding reception. Yep… no kids involve just the two of us. Unfortunately things don’t always go the way you plan. Now I am writing this post on the express ferry to Kota Kinabalu, a 3 hours ride in the open sea after fulfilling my entire work obligation.  I wonder why it is call the express ferry since it is a 3 hours journey.


Route options

The other alternative route would be to take a 20 mins speed boat from the same terminal to Menumbok (a small town in the western coastline of Sabah), followed by a 2 hour taxi drive to KK.

One way is to drive over in the sturdy car ferry carrier which is about 1.5 hours to Menumbok then 2 hours drive to K.K.

Third option is to fly to Kota Kinabalu however for a 25 minutes journey; it will cost me RM490 for the return flight. It is expensive, considering I could purchase a return air ticket to KL on Air Asia (low cost carrier).

The setback

It has always been my pleasure to make sure my guest and visitors are taken care off in Labuan. After picking up all the outstation managers on Friday morning, I received a call from the trainer that his flight is delayed until further notice. After following up and not able to get a fix confirmation of his departure, I thought it was best to postpone the training to Saturday morning.

Sometimes when things go awfully wrong, we need to make the best of things. Though we could have proceeded with the training at late evening but I made the decision to hold it the next morning due to few factors. Firstly I was sure the audience was not in the right frame of mind for the training due to uncertainty of the trainer’s flight. Another factor is that the trainer is most likely frustrated over the long delay and probably worn out from the whole ordeal. Third factor, better spend the evening in more productive time in having an open session with all the managers in a friendly social environment. No agenda, no planning but just talk. Many heavy and emotional burdens have been unloaded during this session. Not only that, I observe that more ideas are born and many things also get done. I guess just chilling out at the bar, opens up everyone.

The training went well this morning and after ensuring all the managers flew off without any hiccups in the flight schedule, I was free to continue my journey to KK in the afternoon with my lovely wife.

So, I conclude that “always expect the unexpected” then you will be far more likely not to flip out if things don’t go the way you planned it. Oh dear…… is starting to rain.      


Friday, February 20, 2009

Looking for a job?

Is the glass half full, half empty, half full and half empty?

Every morning as I sent both of my sons to school, I tune in to the local music channel Tracks FM. There be two entertaining upbeat guys hosting the morning show with such positivity. The music played also brings an up tempo beat and makes the morning seem bearable for another day. 

This morning it hit me, what if we are paid to be positive. Just like the D.J on the radio, their job is to start the day with positiveness so people will tune in to get some positive vibes to kick start the day. The way I see it, being positive and being happy are two different things. Because being positive is something you can control and act on it  whereby being happy is a state of mind which you are induce into. Being positive does not necessarily mean you are happy inside but rather your choice in looking at things differently. Can you be happy when your bank account is in the negative? I think it is very difficult to do so unless you choose to the see the brighter side of things and take positive action. I believe choosing to be positive will lead to happiness.


I posted an article back in January 20th, 2009 about a banner I saw. The banner with the impressionable words of “Life favors those who see things differently". What if you are employed to be positive all day long g. Imagine your employer would hand out a warning later if you did not perform your task up to expectation. If it becomes a job then we will have to find ways to be positive. Here are some of the list in your day to day task.

1.       Research and share real life humorous stories for the day.

2.       Listen to upbeat music

3.       Keep on verbalizing your positive self talk through out the day

4.       Hang positive posters around your work  space.

5.       When things does not go your way say to yourself outloud “ That’s interesting”

6.       Walk a little faster, keep your head up high and wear a smile on your face.

7.       Bless people you meet (silently, it would be rather awkward if you done out loud) despite your feeling towards that person.


Usually the probational period is 1 month to 6 months. Assuming the probation for this job is 30 days. You got a 30 days challenge to be positive to secure the job. The salary will depend on the level of positiveness you bring to the company. Any prolong negative behavior will be terminated due to non compliance of the employment contract.

So, do you want to apply for this job?  



Thursday, February 19, 2009

You cannot not communicate

When the first time , I came across these statement, it took me a while for this insight to sink in. It is one of the presupposition that we learn in NLP. 

Basically this presupposition meant that we are always communicating whether we intended it or not. The other day I was in deep in though over something, my friend asked me why I was feeling down. I was not feeling depress at all but my body and facial expression was sending out the message that I was depress about something. The body and facial expression  convinces more in communication  than spoken words. Like wise the tone of your voice is a give away of how you feet inside. Try for a moment eyes looking down to the ground, shoulder slump downwards and say out loud "I feel great", Somehow inside, there is no congruency between the spoken word and the body language. The listener will sense you are not sincere with your words and tend to believe what the body says.

In the study of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), it is important to learn how to be aware of the non spoken messages before beginning communicating. Mastering the key to rapport building, will have a higher chance of ensuring the   message is heard as intended. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Difficult times as a test of your character

Sales meeting was long as usual, we started at 9 AM in morning and concluded around 7.30 PM. I was physically and mentally drained from the session, however a renewed spirit to make some changes in the way we do our business. 

Most companies are already facing the heat, such as the computer related industries and oil & gas related business , it is scaling down it's operation and refocusing on more profitable revenue. The Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) is forecasting more than 12.4% drop in new registration due to factors such as inflation. fluctuating commodity prices, customer buying pattern, foreign exchange rates, government policies and the global economic impact. The lowered automotive sales will be a domino effect because a lot of vendors and suppliers are involve in the making of a car.  Most of these vendors and suppliers and also providing their goods and services to the other global brands. It a way, we cannot be too happy if our competitors are facing difficult times as we are all interrelated. If the vendors do not have mass order than the cost of manufacturing would rise and thus making the cars more expensive.

I know some companies are starting to implement customer retention strategy and re-evaluating the business as a whole. Some are restructuring the organisation chart to better improve the speed of delivery. Another common strategy is outsourcing services, which seems to be a good idea to keep the cost under control and level and this have expanded to all departments with high operating cost. Departments such as marketing, IT, training and etc.

I believe that difficult times is like a fire test for the company and the individual. Golds and silver under extreme heat can be moulded into beautiful jewellery. Like wise, our character and potential are tested so we too can become someone even better than before.

My GM told me , that it is important to "open your mind to all possibility". I agree with that as a limited mind closes all doors to new ideas. it is the bankrupt of ideas that often lead to business failure.


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Money and Happiness

The flight to the capital city ,Kuala Lumpur is about 2 hours 20 mins from Labuan island.Usually , I find myself skimming through newspaper page by page looking for newsworthy article. I want to share with you about an interesting article in regards to the subject that we all have in our mind right now. Money...... Yes, money is a much talk about subject especially during this difficult period. We all have this worry that the money may run dry and caused us to downgrade our lifestyle. The following is extracted from part of the article.

According to Ryan Howell, an assistant professor of psychology as San Francisco State University, found that buying experiences such as vacations, going to the theater or renting a sailboat- gave people more happiness than buying material things. The study, of 154 people ages 19 to 50, showed that experience increase happiness because there are often social in nature., in addition experience tend to make people more alive." people report a sense of feeling invigorated or inspired.' Howell said, Experiences may also yield more happiness because people are left with positive memories, a sort of return on their investment. Howell also mentioned that 'For whatever you can afford, you'll will maximise your happiness, and the happiness of others around you, if you spend in on a life experience."

I believe there is some truth to his studies, as I have experience buying things that I thought would make me happy or solve my problems only to store away the item in a corner somewhere. I remember a few years ago, when everyone was into PDA's and so I got myself one with the excuse that it would help me to be more organise and get things done. However the interest in the PDA only lasted two weeks as I was not able to fully appreciate the use of the technology. However the vacations I have gone with my wife to Hong Kong, Phillipines, Singapore has so much wonderful memories despite not spending lavishly.

It does not take a lot of money to have a wonderful life experience, of course having it more is always better. To conclude , what the studies shows is that money doesn't make us happy; it's experiences that give us joy.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Mount Kinabalu, here I come

I have conquered this mount. Kinabalu 3 times. It is 4,095 meters above sea level which makes it the highest peak in South East Asia. The last time I climbed this challenging mountain was about 15 year ago. Yep.. then the younger me was fit and slim. Now looking at my waistline, I got to get into the exercise program before attempting at it again. And so I am planning to climb this coming August 2009 with a group of friends. My ultimate purpose is to have a compelling reason to start exercising again and eating right.  

Friday, February 13, 2009

Swim like a duck

The weekend is here. Though it is nice to kick back and do my own personal things, I got few appointments to keep such as a wedding dinner invitation to go to, a presentation to work on for Monday's management sales meeting which means flying off to the capital city Kuala Lumpur on Sunday , to edit my speech material, finalise on a training modules for coming March. The to do list seems to be never ending because I am progressing towards my goals. There goes my weekend.

The current scenario is not painting a good picture and as uncertainty hangs in the air, we need to be like the  duck on the water. Upwards appearing graceful and calm  but paddling like mad below. Yes indeed, we need to work extra hard especially adding new skills and knowledge to stay ahead. I have enrolled myself in a Internet marketing coaching program this month end. It is new to me and I hope to be able to tap into the opportunities in the online world. 




Thursday, February 12, 2009

Generate ideas using Mind map software

I'd came to know about mind mapping from reading Tony Buzan book and have been using this method ever since. I found it to be an effective way to expand ideas quickly while having fun at it. Recently , I came across a mind mapping software from 

The software is user friendly, just do a little reading on the FAQ and then you are on your way to generating many ideas. I hope you will enjoy this free software from as I have. please click on the following link for the download.

As I am not the originator of the software, kindly refer to the terms and conditions from before installing the software.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Balance Life

Today, my wife Liza and my youngest son Raynald is having fever. Visited the clinic for some medication and I advice them to sleep it off.  It is really a horrible feeling being sick but on the positive note, it is the way the body telling us to slow down.

Many times when I am down with the common illness such as flu,fever or cough, I will sleep through out the day. It is a miracle to know that our body has the natural ability to self-heal itself. The medicine is used to suppress the pain, contain the virus or boost the immune system. Based on my personal experience and though others sharing not all doctors gives accurate diagnosis, advice and prescription. We somehow, need to take a more proactive approach in own health care.   

Researches have shown that applying alternative medicine also does make the route to recovery faster. The following are some of the methods that have helped many others to self heal.

1. ) Deep breathing 

2.) Creative visualisation combine with meditation

3.) Massage

4.) Reflexology

5.) Acupuncture

and many many more. 

Back in the mid 1990's , my wife and I attended the Silva Mind Control where we learn to use our mind to visualise, self heal, help others and so forth. I like the methods on how to do  active meditation anywhere and anytime. I have not been practicing as frequently as before but I still find the effectiveness of going into levels via active  meditation. When I can't sleep or feel very stressful at work, I will go into level (beta mode) and rest there for 15 mins. It does wonders for me.

There are practices out there you can choose from to learn how to attain inner peace which will lead to healthy living. I believe it is important because  most often our sickness are a result of bad decisions. We worry too much, we have unresolved emotional issues, we over indulge ourselves  with unproductive activities, over consumption of unhealthy food. The secret is living in moderation. Life is all about balance. In Dr Steven Covey book series, He illustrate the importance in seeking balance in our physical, emotion , mental and spiritual needs. If we overlook any of this areas, the chances are high that we may fall sick.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Tell me a story, please

Sometimes before my children goes to sleep , they would request me to tell them a story. I do my best to not disappointment them. In my earlier posting, I mentioned that I had many adventures from the books I read. Story telling is an art and is a powerful way in getting the message across. I grew up reading short Aesop fables where moral values are taught through the stories.

Aside from teaching values, I sometimes use stories to motivate them to take action such as eating their vegetables and doing their chores. It does not work all the time but it does bring about some results. I often create my own stories as I go along. It forces me to kick start my creative mind to work. When I first tried it, it was a challenge by itself however it becomes easier overtime. I will know when I have told a good story from my son's smile and positive response. Sometimes when he starts asking questions to the story, then I will teach the  values or ask their opinions. It is even more interesting to get them participating in the story by asking them to act out the character or events. The following is my story telling guideline:  

1.) The Character involved. The hero and the villain

2.) The story line

3.) The unexpected twist and surprise element.  

4.) The heroic rescue

5.) The induced state I want them to be in at the end of the story. Usually I end with the hero felling tired and sleepy since I want them to go to sleep.

Telling stories is one way to build a bond between the child and parent. Another point is that your story is easily recalled then the direct advice you give them.  

Knowing Vs Doing

There is a great distinction between the two. Many people knows what it takes be a successful person. They will tell you hard work, dedication , commitment , persistent and so forth but they just stop there. There are many things that we are aware of but lack the follow through in making it a reality.

Back in 2004, I have heard about the buzz word "blogging", even mentioned it to my circle of friends. I even told them blogs can generate income but I was not doing it myself. I though I knew the subject matter but how wrong I was.Only in December 2008, I really got down and started a blog and boy, there so much I need to learn. What I though I knew was only the scratch of the surface. As I post a blog nearly everyday now, I begin to understand of it's application . I searched for professional blogger such as Yaro, Alex Mandossian, Jeff Johnson to learn from them. I began to realise how little I knew. I was truly ignorant about the subject.

My favourite power quote is adapted from Nike " Just Do It". It is better to make a few mistakes and later correct it than just knowing the subject.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Going Back to Basics

While U.S  is still haggling over the price tag it has to pay for the stimulus package, more and more people are losing jobs everyday. Companies closing down daily and this becomes  a domino effect across the other continent as most countries are dependant on U.S market as the major trading partner. Basically, when the consumer market  plunge so will the demand for imported goods. we are very much interconnected globally through our trading. 

I have some experience when the company I worked in face with the economic crises. Back in 1998, I was working in the general insurance industry. MAA ( Malaysian Assurance Alliance) was the third largest composite insurance  company back then after Great Eastern and AIA . During this period when most other insurance company was consolidating their resources and cutting spending. The MAA president then decided to embark on a daring expansion  program called STAR (Small town and rural) development. we nickname the strategy STAR WARS to spice up the campaign. We were entering into the smaller town that have potential growth  and the strategy worked well in bringing in additional revenues to the company after deducting the expenses. The whole ideas was that when the economy picked up so will the revenue generated. In a way, people will be more appreciative because we were around during the bad times. Interesting and relevant strategy for a certain period. The last I heard of it, everything when into reversal by closing of branches and relocating of staff in the STAR program. The strategy was good but it did not last long. The failure in the strategy on the later part was lack of sensitivity to the changing business environment. One of the common challenges faced by big corporation is the speed to change.

I am a firm believer and practitioner in "Going back to Basics". when times are good, our head swell with pride and forgotten to prepare ourselves for the worst . We begin to think that we are already big enough to weather any financial challenges. Arrogance can be a fatal mistakes for any business. Based on observation , the economic cycle is every 10 years. In other words , when we get out of this difficult times, the next cycle of recession would be in the coming 10 years. However I am not an economist and this are my assumptions based on my experience and observations. 

Going back to basics is all about returning to the fundamental of every business. Here are some of it.
1.) Customers are the reasons your business exist so treat them right.
2.) Your employees are the most important assets so focus on employing the right employees and ensure they are motivated to work with you.
3.) Cash is King
4.) The core values of the company is very important to drive the people within to realise the vision.
5.) Change is inevitable so "Always be prepared" as my ex boss Mr Richand Wong puts it. 

Do you have any further input on this, be glad to hear from you. 

Friday, February 6, 2009

Are you setting the right Goals?

Have you ever achieve a planned goal only to find out it is not fulfilling and it is not what you wanted? Achieving the goals seems meaningless and does not bring to real growth. We all ever make the same mistake including myself.
Sometimes when we start planning our goals for the term ,year or period, we tend to neglect one very important key ingredient. This is not only confine to personal goals but also envelope organisation goals.
The missing ingredient is core values. We all have core values because it is what drives our behaviour whether we are aware of it on not. Discovering our core value is a process and a journey. It requires a lot of self clarification and getting to know yourself better.
One of my core values is continuous learning. It is what drives me to read daily and buy books or discover new knowledge. It is not a task but something I am passionate about. When I set a goal , taking consideration my core values, it becomes easier to achieve the goal because I am naturally motivated by it. Unlike some goals we set, it seems that we have to drag our feet forward to struggle to accomplish the goal. Most of the time we fail or end up in frustration.
When you set a goal find ways to integrate the core values into that goal. One way is the 5 Why method . When you set an intended goal ask your "why is achieving the goal important to you" and then from the answer you ask again the same question. Usually it won't take till 5 series of question to uncover the underlying reason. Sometimes by clarifying the goal, you may decide it is not what you actually wanted.
Core values do not change despite the change in our environment. It is the one constant guiding principles in all our goals setting. This also include organisation that is thinking to expand it's business. Take time to discover what are your core values. There is no hard and fast rule about the numbers of core values you can have. However it can be quite confusing if an organisation have too many of those because some of the values may conflict with one another.
Since we spend most of our waking hours at work, we often display our values in our working environment. Key questions to consider :
1.) If you awake tomorrow morning with enough money to retire for the rest of your life, would you continue to live according to the values?
2.) What would you say to your children and loved ones the core values you stand for in your work, values that you hope they will stand for when they become working adults?
3.) How would you want others to remember you by when you have passed on?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Memories of my grandmother - Philomena Shak

Celebrating my grandmother 73rd birthday. 

The name Philomena is greek origin which means Philos "friend" and Menos "strength". It really reflect my late grandmother who has a very strong character.

I enjoy talking to the elderly because there are so much to learn from them. Their life are colourful whether they realise it or not. It is especially interesting to learn about their life's struggle and what they did to make it through. This are valuable lessons about the values and  attitude required to overcome the challenges at hand. 

I have one regret in life and that is I did not sit down more often with my late grandmother to hear her story. Based on the stories I remembered was how she got up at 4 am every  morning and would tap rubber to support the family. I can still recall her story how she hid from the Japanese who was occupying Malaysia during the world war two, back in 1946. Then she was a single mother with 7 children to care for. My grandfather died from an unknown  illness . Then there were no proper medical facilities and he died when my dad was a few months old.  I was in my teenage years when she passed away in 1984. I sadly recall how I sometimes misunderstood her as she was a very strict but caring person on the inside. However many times she express it in a manner a teenager may not understand. Though she was not an  expressive person in showing her affection. I realise much later that discipline and hardwork put food on the table. It was important then to equip the child with the necessarily skill to survive. Of course times have change, now you may be accuse of child abuse if you are physically strict with your children LOL.

I guess that is the reason why I can socialise well with elderly people because I wanted to make up for the times I missed with my grandparents. Many successful people today owe their success to their parents who brought them up with discipline and firmness. I think it is very important in raising our children we need to be firm but at the same time they need to know that you love them very much.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Toastmasters chinese new year gathering

I first came to know Toastmasters way back in 1997 and have been a member since then with the exception in 2003 -2006 which I took temporary leave to pursue my Masters. Toastmasters is a great way to develop your speaking skills in a positive and supportive environment. I highly recommend it to anyone who has no experience in public speaking. Once equip with the basic skills, I began to invest in books, audios and videos on the techniques used by the professional speakers. One effective way to leap frog your growth in the speaking arena is to engage a speaking coach which can be found over the Internet. My favourite coach is Patrcia Fripp and Darren LaCroix.
Aside from learning to speak in public, we also have the opportunity to harness our leadership capabilities by taking part in running the club. This year , I was given the privilege to serve as the President the second time round and enjoy doing it because of a strong team supporting me.
It is always interesting and eye opening to sit and dine with Mr. Lim Phang Maw, we would talk anything from the latest gadget, politics, economics and anything under the sun. He has vast general knowledge in many things.

I vote that the fish curry was best dish of the evening even though a little oily. Nevertheless can work it out the next day.

Starting from the left Amy Sim (Vice Pres. Membership), Theresa Ong (Secretary), Tan Chui Eng (Vice Pres. Public Relation) and Mr Lim Phang Maw (Tan C.E hubby)

From the Left, my good friend Pengiran Wahed, Albert Sim (Past Immediate President), Bridget Wong (Sergeant at Arms)

From the left, our strong supporter Zelie , Doreen (friends of Toastmasters ) and organiser Amy Sim

Ryanna's 1st Birthday

It was a year ago, Ryanna Grace Pang came into our life. She was born on the 2nd February 2008 at 11.40 AM weighing 2.8 Kg. Prior to that , my wife and I were trill to find out that the child she was expecting was a girl. Now I feel that my life is complete. With my two boys and her , I have a hand full already. I do admire some families with more than 6 children. They must be good in juggling their time and emotion well. Large families was a common sight in those days.
Caring for Ryanna's early months was a good experience. She did not cry much in the middle of the night as she has predictable sleeping hours unlike my second son Raynald.
A few days ago, my wife Liza told me that she caught her taking her first step all on her own. As parents, it is an exciting moment to see that happens however she is beginning to show signs of tantrum throwing if she does not gets what she wants. Last night for the first time i saw her lying flat on the floor and both hands and legs hitting and kicking with displeasure. Oh we go again , the beginning of the terrible two syndrome. Like they say, it is part of life.
On her birthday celebration, I spend many hours compiling video and photos to make a 9 mins movie clip. The movie clip started with her picture in her mummy's belly until her one year birthday. There will be many more birthdays to come and we will cherish every moment of it. As a father of three, it is my deepest desire to teach them the value of love. I have read somewhere that a child spell love as T.I.M.E