Saturday, September 26, 2009

This is worth protecting...

Health, that is.

Recently, my family was faced with several health complications starting with my mum, than me and now my Dad. So, I was in and out of the hospital tending to my parents and myself in August and September 2009. Needless to say, this is really tiring and stressful for me. Anyway, this experience taught me 3 precious lessons as well. I just want to share them here.

  1. Some people think that their body is stronger than others and can take more punishment so they adopt a 'tidak apa' attitude. WRONG! Just because we are not experiencing anything doesn't mean we are healthy. On the contrary, when the body starts telling us something, it is usually quite late already. For example, 99% of kidney failure patients don't feel any pain in their kidneys! So, by the time they discover they have kidney failure, it is normally end-stage, hence requiring dialysis forever.
  2. Man will spend the first half of their life trading health for money and then the second half of their life trading money for health. This is so true and so STUPID! What's the meaning in that? Better to have a balanced lifestyle and enjoy the beauty that God has placed in our lives from beginning until the final destination. Do we slow down and just enjoy the beauty of HIS creation? Do we slow down and say 'thank you' and 'I love you' to our loved ones? We may be busy chasing after our dreams but certainly we can have time for these 'Important but Not Urgent' matters.
  3. Work like there's no tomorrow. Yeah, and there will not be a tomorrow. Whoever coined this phrase must be mesmerized by the philosophy of "The world is round because it is not flat". Instead, work because there is a tomorrow. Don't burn bridges. Don't hurt people. Don't feel that we are the center of the universe. Respect life. Value others. Enjoy the beauty that God has put in our lives.
We are entering the last quarter of 2009. Very soon we will bid farewell to this year and say hello to 2010. What legacy are we leaving behind this year? Which reminds me. My friend, Ken and I set a few personal goals to be achieved this year. Time to do a 'stock check' to see what have been done and if the results are what we want them to be. One thing for sure, my bosses will certainly look back and say to me "Yesterday is history. Forget past victory. Tomorrow is still empty. Meet the target or you'll be sorry." :p


Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Best Way to Predict the Future is to Create it

The above quote was from Abraham Lincoln. What a fantastic way to view the future. In times like this, people are constantly worried about the future: economy, AH1N1 virus, terrorism, etc. Let's do what Lincoln suggested. Create the future we want today. What's one thing that if we start to do today that would change our lives 5 years from now? Learn a new skill? Start an exercise program? Start to be involved in charity work?

I was sharing with some friends on the Power of One. Can one person change the world? Definitely not on his or her own. But one person can inspire many others to change their world and when enough people change, we change our world together.

Maya Angelou said this. "If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude. Don't complain." I say this sheepishly. I still catch myself complaining about certain things. Well, I'm going to do my best to stop it. Rather than complain about it, I'll do something about it. Then, it's fruitful.

Selamat Hari Raya!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Why I love the Toastmasters Club?

I have a confession to make. I love the Toastmasters Club! In particular, Miri Toastmasters Club. Why do I say that? Well, when you feel tired and weak, come for a workshop and a group of sincere people will laugh together with you and motivate you. By the end of the workshop, you just feel that the stress is all gone.

Now if I made it sound like it is a laughing club, actually it's only half true. The Toastmasters Club is dedicated to the development of verbal communication skills and leadership skills among its members. It has touched the lives of more than 250,000 people! Personally, I've improved a lot as both a leader and speaker ever since joining this club 2 years ago. Every workshop is a learning laboratory to discover myself more. We learn by doing and that's the best way to learn.

In my 2 years at this club, I've seen people transformed from a timid person into a confident speaker. Talk about the Magic of Public Speaking. If you are interested to drop by to see the workshop and experience the fun and laughter, we meet every 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month at Gymkhana Club, Miri. Our workshop starts at 7.30pm.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Failing Forward

I was having a deep discussion with a close friend last week when the subject of our discussion touched on the topic of fear and failure. My friend asked me a very profound question "What is the worst case scenario that you will see yourself in?" Well, that question hit me like a tonne of bricks. It was one of those questions where I know is there but never really got around to asking, perhaps conveniently bypassing it.

As I was contemplating it, I told him that if I were to fail, I'll make sure that I come up with something else to make up for the gap that my failure would have created. I'd not just return to where I was and say "Boy, I should have just listened to them naysayers." The idea was to make sure that I'd go further and further towards my goal and each failure would be a push towards the success that I'm searching for.

My friend immediately replied "Failing Forward." I thought it sounded cool. So I googled the phrase and it is actually the title of a book written by Leadership guru John C. Maxwell about how to optimize each failure to achieve our success.

At present, I'm about to make a very important decision that may change the course of my life. Am I scared? OF COURSE, I AM! Am I excited? YES, too! (There's something about us humans who like to seek thrills in activities such as bungee jumping and climbing the KLCC Twin Towers with our bare hands to tell ourselves that: Yes! I am alive!) But I'm going for it even though I'm scared. That's what courage is. It is not the absence of fear. Rather it is doing something in spite of fear.

I'll finish with this quote by the Malaysian tycoon, Mr. Robert Kuok. He said as much as "she pai nai chen gong che mu" (translated as failure is the mother of success), he holds firmly that "chen gong nai she pai che mu" (translated as success is the mother of failure). Does it make sense to you?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Paradigm Shift

Yesterday, I had an experience which started off as bad and ended up helping me discover something important. It was not a very big event and one which was pretty mundane you'd say.

As I've blogged earlier, I am still nursing my dislocated left shoulder. I had an appointment with my physiotherapist booked at 2.30pm. At 2.15pm I went to my car only to discover that 1 of the tyres was punctured. My first reaction was "Oh man! Not now!". Normally, I would just roll up my sleeves and change it in a jiffy but not with my injured shoulder. So, I went in search for help and finally found a shop which was willing to send their staff over to help me change the tyre. Problem solved but I missed my appointment.

Anyway, what was the important thing that I discovered? Well, my paradigm shift. Let me explain. Several years ago, I underwent a hernia surgery. (The wound was the exact location as the C-section surgery so I know how that feels like after giving birth LOL!) That Saturday, I was home alone and ready to get to work. So, I turned the ignition key and the car engine just wouldn't start. Yup! A flat battery. Being the gung-ho, Rambo, Lone Ranger - type, I pushed the car out of the house, pushed it down the slope, turned the ignition key and jumped into it the moment the engine was ignited. Well, it took me 2 attempts to get it work. Man, I was so proud of myself.

But thinking back, that was plain stupid. 1) I could ask my neighbours to help, or 2) I could call office and tell them about my problem. What if I burst the wound? That would be worse, right? Well, that was the lone ranger mentality I used to have. And it got me no where.

So, my experience yesterday where I humbled myself and went seeking for help told me that I have learnt the importance to getting help and assistance from others to get things done. That way, we could do much more than we could ever accomplish alone. So, that's my paradigm shift.

Have a Happy Day!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Magic of Public Speaking

The Miri Toastmasters Club is organizing a public seminar themed "The Magic of Public Speaking". It will be held on 17 October 2009 from 1.30pm - 4.30pm at Pustaka Miri auditorium. The 2 speakers are Luke Bong (yours truly) and Distinguished Toastmaster Mohd Ariff Azahari. Tickets are available now. If you purchase the tickets before 18 September, it will be only RM45 (early bird). Normal price is RM50. For students (secondary schools, colleges and university), it is priced at RM30 only. Special offer for group booking of 10 tickets. This year, all participants will be issued a certificate of participation.

I'll be speaking on the topic "Let Your Body Speak". Most people associate public speaking with the ability to use fantastic or bombastic words. Well, that's only part of public speaking. In reality, words only affect a listener around 7%. The balance are actually body language and tonality. I'll be sharing on how one can use their body effectively when they speak to convince and influence the listeners. This is a topic that will surely interests people who have to do presentations to persuade or influence others.

Mohd Ariff will be sharing on the topic "How Anyone Can Create A Charismatic, Magnetic Voice". We all know how important a good sounding voice is. Let the expert show you how. This is a topic not to be missed. Ariff is the Liutenant Governor of Education and Training of Toastmasters International District 51 (Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei). He is also a Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM). There are only a handful of DTM in Sarawak and he is the first Bumiputra DTM from Sarawak.

Checkout the post on Facebook at

Hope to see you at the seminar!