Thursday, December 31, 2009

Smooth Criminal

Hey, guess what? I fulfilled my boyhood dream this past December.

In a previous post, I mentioned that I was not sure if I would dance like Michael Jackson again. But if I were to dance, I said I would do a better job. And I did!

In the recent Super-Teen Holiday Camp in Lembang, I performed "Smooth Criminal" in front of hundreds and hundreds of wonderful people! It was a blast!

I remember when I was 12 years old, I was watching the Teacher's Day Celebration Concert in my school hall. There was this particular performance that left a deep impression in me. It was a MJ Dance performed by my classmate. I think the song was "Billie Jean" and he was absolutely superb. At that time, a thought ran through my mind: "I want to dance like MJ! In front of an a few hundred people!"

I never did.

I always thought that I wasn't good enough. That no matter how much I practised wasn't enough.

12 years later, I finally did it!

Thanks to the combined effort of my 2 talented dancers, Stevia & Tara, we pulled off a show that was hard to forget! I was especially impressed by the both of them because they only took 3 days to learn the dance moves but I took months!. They are incredible!

Was the dance perfect? Probably not.

But did we had fun practising and performing? You bet!

That was all that matters!

For me, that was a huge accomplishment and a boyhood dream fulfilled.
It took me 12 years. So don't complain about not fulfilling your dreams yet!!!

What a way to end 2009!

After the performance, my LIFE WAS NEVER..............................EEEEEEEEEE.......................EEEEE.....................EEVER, THE SAME, AGAIN!!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

45 Life Lesssons

While browsing the web today, I found the following lessons of life on Mr Lee Say Keng's Blog.

To celebrate growing older, a wise woman named Regina Brett wrote down 45 lessons life has taught her over the years. She just turned 90 years old and is a writer for 'The Plain Dealer', the largest newspaper in Ohio.

Check it out:
  1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
  2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
  3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
  4. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
  5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
  6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
  7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
  8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
  9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
  10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
  11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
  12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.
  13. Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
  14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
  15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.
  16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
  17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
  18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
  19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
  20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
  21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
  22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
  23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
  24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
  25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
  26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: 'In five years, will this matter?
  27. Always choose life.
  28. Forgive everyone and everything.
  29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
  30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
  31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
  32. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.
  33. Believe in miracles.
  34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
  35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
  36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.
  37. Your children get only one childhood.
  38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
  39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
  40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.
  41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
  42. The best is yet to come.
  43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
  44. Yield.
  45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.
I found it humorous and very true.

What do you think?

Learn these lessons and Your Life Will NEVER, EEEEEEEEEEEE.....................EEEE..............EEVER, BE THE SAME, AGAIN!!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Things to Remember

I just came across this and thought of passing it to you:

"Laughter is the best medicine for a long and happy life.
He who laughs ... lasts.

Forgiveness is our greatest achievement and our highest calling.

A friend is a person who knows all about you ... and still likes you.

If you can't have the best of everything, make the best of everything you have.

We are as healthy as our relationships.

Touch is a great therapy.

God help the man who won't marry, until he finds the perfect woman, and God help him still more if he finds her.

Don't marry someone you can live with.
Marry someone you cannot live without.

Life is too precious and marriage is too sweet to rush into relationships that are less than best for you.

The most important things in life aren't things.

The trouble with most people is that they stop trying in trying times.

Don't let your children become more important than your partner.

If you're happy, let your face know it and show it!

Live your life and forget about your age!

Everyone has a future ... some people plan theirs.

We can't change anyone but ourselves.

One of our greatest strengths is to admit our weaknesses.

Obstacles are what you see if you take your eyes off the goal.

The greatest thing you can ever learn is to love and be loved in returned."

--Author Unknown

Do you like it?

For those of you who are going to have your exams , All the best to you!

Remember these things and Your Life Will NEVER, EEEEEEEEEEEE............EEEE............EEVER, BE THE SAME AGAIN!!!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Manila--The Philippines

Greetings from sunny Singapore! Just got back from the second-largest archipelago in the world--The Philippines! More specifically, Manila. This amazing country comprises of not just hundreds of islands, but 7107 islands. I think that is a pretty big number!

To be honest, I didn't expect to travel to Manila this year. I didn't plan to come here. My Uncle was. So he kindly invited my family along. As a person who doesn't like to let opportunity slip away, I eagerly accepted the invitation. So there I was at the eleventh largest metropolitan city in the world.

Allow me to share with you the most fascinating thing during this trip. It happened right after we landed in Manila. As we got into the car, we noticed that a policeman was waiting on his motorcycle for us! No, not to arrest us, but to be our escort! Yes, as in escort! To escort all of us to our hotel! Like those you see in the movies where the police clear the way on the road for some very important people! Apparently, my uncle was a VIP and so we were all treated like VIPs! Haha... I didn't know that I would be a VIP on this trip, I only know that I am a Very Irritating Person (VIP) to some people...Haha... Don't laugh!

So after we got into the car, the policeman led the way with his huge 1200cc motorcycle. The roads were packed with cars and he cleared the road for us! He was sounding the horn after every few seconds and was raising his other hand to stop vehicles from entering into our lane. Then something happened. The policeman led us to the adjacent road where the cars are moving in the opposite direction. It means that the cars are coming towards us! We are moving against the flow of traffic!!! I couldn't believe it! Can you imagine that you are moving in a car with a whole lot of other cars coming towards you?

For a moment, I was scared. But after that, I thought I was invincible!

When we reached the hotel, I don't remember that my car stopped for more that 1 second throughout the whole journey. Except at the hotel, of course! What would normally take a 20-30 minutes drive took only 10 minutes! Cool huh?

I didn't expect that kind of treatment but I didn't complain either. I just quietly followed.

Hey, I am the kind of person who doesn't take things for granted and I know I wasn't the one who was the VIP, but my uncle. So I have to thank him for the experience. And what an experience it was!

I still treasure and remember such experiences. Never take anything for granted. I am always fascinated by such things.

During the evening, we went for a sumptuous Japanese dinner, with the biggest and freshest tempura I've eeeeee......eeeee.......eever, eaten. Slurp.... Then we were invited to watch a musical show with lots of acrobatic performance thrown into the mix. I was surprised when I found out later that each ticket cost about SGD $155! It is very expensive by my standards. In the end, I did enjoy the show but didn't think that it justifies the price tag. least I got an inspiration for a dance move from the show.

It was a very short trip and I didn't get to explore much of the city. For the rest of the trip, it was spent on shopping, eating and just chilling out. Given more time, I would love to explore many of the beautiful islands, waterfalls and mountains (volcanoes included) that the Philippines has to offer.

Nonetheless, after this trip, my LIFE WAS NEVER...................EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE....................EEEEEEE...............EEVER, THE SAME AGAIN!!!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Tribute to Michael Jackson

I'm not sure how many people are still talking or blogging about Michael Jackson, but I am. I didn't really have the time to blog for the last 3 weeks, so I am taking this time, before I'll be away for another 2 weeks, to blog about one of the people I grew up watching--The King of Pop, Michael Jackson.

Love him or hate him, he was arguably the greatest entertainer of all time.

I don't know why, but the first time I saw MJ on TV doing his dance moves, I was mesmerized. Back in the early 1990s, when I was only in Primary school, I started to imitate his dance moves. Around that time, he came to Singapore for his world concert tour but I couldn't attend because my parents wouldn't allow. So when his concert was shown on TV, I took a video tape to record it on my VCR! (Remember that those were the days when VCD & DVD were non-existent.)

I still remember the times when I stood in front of my TV, imitating his every move. I would press play, pause, rewind, play, over and over again just to follow a short dance sequence. It was anything but easy. Of course, pressing the play, pause & rewind buttons over and over again is not the best way to treat your VCR, especially if yours is old and cranky. So it wasn't surprising that my video tape got jammed in the VCR on more than one occasion. In fact, it was almost an hourly affair!!!

In the end, what I got out of the whole thing was a swollen feet full of blisters!

To me, MJ was simply amazing. He made all the complicated slick moves look easy. I can only imagine the number of hours and the pain he went through to perfect his moves. And how can I forget the famous Moonwalk? It was just speechless........! I know I'm not the only one who tries to impersonate MJ, there could be thousands or even millions who does that. I don't know. But I know that till now, no one has come close to what he could do on stage.

So it was with great sadness that I learnt about his passing on June 25th morning in Indonesia while we were conducting the Super-Teen Holiday Camp outdoor activity. My mentor, Dr Ernest Wong, was the first to receive the tragic news on his mobile phone. He immediately broke the news to us and I was shocked, but didn't show it on my face. Ernest also grew up watching MJ and so naturally, he was saddened by his sudden death.

It is interesting to note that Ernest and I are one generation apart but we were both watching the same person growing up and were somehow affected by MJ's passing away. You can easily see how MJ's influence and impact transcends generation, race, and location.

Ernest decided that it was only fitting that we hold a tribute to MJ so he arranged to show some of his music videos and we sang the song "Heal the World". Ernest also led us to observe a one-minute-silence to remember the King of Pop.

More recently, during the Camp in Medan, Ernest decided to do a tribute to Michael Jackson again. It was a day after the memorial service in Los Angeles. But this time, he invited me on stage to share about my feelings and thoughts about MJ. And after that, I was the one who led everyone to observe the one-minute silence! I would never, eeee....eee....ever, thought that I would do that. But I did. It was a whole new experience for me to say the least.

Looking back, my MJ dance "training" during Primary School days served me well. In a Karaoke session, everybody was singing their favorite tunes. Ken sang, Ernest sang, but I couldn't sing. I know fully well that I have a voice of a broken recorder, so singing will only irritate all the ear drums that were there. Instead, I decided to do a dance. Not any type of dance but MJ's dance. I put in my best efforts to dance to the beat of "Smooth Criminal" and it was a blast! I got into the groove and did my best impersonation of MJ. To top it all, I even did the Moonwalk! Yes, the Moonwalk! Everybody was cheering and laughing away the whole time! I know, maybe they were just laughing at me making a fool of myself on stage!

It was obvious that my dance wasn't anywhere near MJ's standard, but it was a dance from the heart to entertain everyone present and to remember the greatest entertainer of all time. I have no regrets.

Will I do the dance again? I'm not sure. But if I were to do it again, I know that it will only be better. I hope!

Michael Jackson's death was a shock to many. It was to me. Many people have different opinions about him. Some good, some bad. It is not surprising since his life is shrouded with controversies. For me, I also don't agree with some of the things he did, or allegedly did. I don't condone his actions. I just like his dance moves and I respect him for his dedication and hard work that made him the King of Pop.

After dancing "Smooth Criminal", my Life was NEVER, EEEEEEEEEEE....................................EEEEE.......................EEE...............EEVER, THE SAME AGAIN!!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

With Robert Kiyosaki

Hi all, just wanted to share this picture taken with the Bestselling Author of Rich Dad Poor Dad--Robert Kiyosaki.

Thanks Joanne!

After meeting him and after learning from him, MY LIFE WAS NEVER, EEEEEEEEEEEEEE.............................EEEEEEE...........................EEVER, THE SAME AGAIN!!!

Monday, May 04, 2009

The Importance of being Persistent and & Taking Risks

As I was browsing the web, I stumbled upon an article that Mr Lee Say Keng posted on his Optimum Performance Technologies' blog. Just a little background; I met Mr Lee Say Keng about 7 years ago and he was one of the great individuals who reviewed my book and was the first few people who helped me to get my book off the ground. I admire him for his great mind and his passion in helping others.

I just thought of sharing that article with you. It is about the Importance of being Persistent and & Taking Risks.

Here it goes:

"To live is to risk dying.
To do is to risk failure.
To laugh is to risk appearing a fool.
To love is to risk not being loved in return.
To cry is to risk appearing soft and sentimental.
To reach out to another is to risk involvement or rejection.
To place your ideas, dreams, and desires before people is to risk riducule.
The greatest omission in life is to risk nothing.
The person who risks nothing gets nothing, has nothing, is nothing.
He may avoid suffering, pain and sorrow, but he does not learn, grow, live, or love.
He is only a slave - chained by safety - locked away by fear.
Only a person who is willing to risk, not knowing the results, is alive."

Do you agree?

The original post can be found on Mr Say Keng's blog.

Be Persistent and be willing to Take Risks and YOUR LIFE WILL NEVER,..............................EEEEEEEEEEEE..............................EEEE...............................EEVER, BE THE SAME, AGAIN!!!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Dare to Fail

Always dare to attempt new things.

Just like to share with you a quote I read:

"Don't fear failure so much that you refuse to try new things. The saddest summary of a life contains three descriptions: could have, might have, and should have."--Unknown

You never know until you give it a shot, isn't it?

Dare to fail and YOUR LIFE, WILL NEVER, EEEEEEEEEEEEE..............EEEE..................EEVER, BE THE SAME, AGAIN!!!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Do Not Worry

Just a quick thought.

Whatever you are going through in your life right now, do not worry.

Because "Worry is like a rocking chair--it will give you something to do, but it won't get you anywhere."--Anon (Taken from Our Daily Bread)

True, isn't it?

Instead, do something positive. Do something that empowers you!

Do not worry and Your Life Will Never, EEEEEEEEEEEEE.............EEEEEEE..........EEVER, Be The Same, Again!

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Change the way you Act and you'll change what you Get

Read the Title again. Isn't it true? Change the way you act and you'll change what you get.

I get many complains from students who say that their parents nag at them too much, too controlling, cannot go out with friends, cannot play computer games, cannot watch TV, cannot go to the movies and NO FREEDOM!

Do you have the same complain?

Then the question I always ask these students is, "Why do you think your parents are treating you this way?" The answer I inevitably get: "I don't know." But do you know the answer? I would tell them the answer: "It is because of YOU!" Then they will give me a stunned look on their faces.

But isn't it true?

The reason your parents or teachers or friends treat you in a certain way is because of the way you act. When you behave maturely, they will treat you maturely. When you behave like a kid, they will treat you like a kid. When you act like you can't take care of yourself, they treat you like you need someone to take care of you. When you act like you lack discipline, they will discipline you. Simple as that.

As mentioned in my book, The Joys & Pains of Growing Up, your parents are merely responding to the way you act. The people around you are responding to the way you act. Change the way you act and you'll change what you get.

If you don't like what you are getting, then change your behaviour. Change your actions. Don't complain about how others is treating you. Look at yourself first.

Have you heard of the definition of insanity? There is an old definition that says: Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

Then I think we should ask ourselves: "Are we doing the same things over and over again and expecting a different result?" "Are we behaving the same old way and expecting our parents to treat us differently?" I have a strong feeling that they won't. Expecting that would be insanity, wouldn't it?

It won't be easy to change. But I believe that it would be even worse to get the same kind of treatment everyday of your life. The trade-off was worth it for me. What about you?

Change the way you act and YOUR LIFE, WILL NEVER, EEEEEEEEEEE.....................EEEEEEE.................EEVER, BE THE SAME AGAIN!!!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

What a Way to Start 2009!

Greetings once again from sunny Singapore! It is 2009 and I would have never, eeeeeee...........eee.........eever imagine the way I started this new year.

First, I would like to say I had a awesome time in Indonesia. A time to catch up with old friends. A time to meet new people. A time to impact more lives. A time to experience new things. A time for more reflection too. It was great!

What was I going to talk about? Oh... The way I started off this year.

My flight was supposed to arrive in S'pore at 11pm on 31st Dec. Initially, I thought that it was not too bad. I might be able to reach home before midnight and do the countdown with my family.

So I boarded the plane on time, with loads of excitement for the coming new year. I quickly found my seat and settled down. I don't know what happened to me but after sitting on my seat for less than 5 minutes, I knocked out. I went into "lala land". Maybe I was too tired.

I was expecting to see the lights of Singapore when I wake up but I didn't. I saw the exact same lights before I slept 1 hour and 15 mins ago. I was quite surprised. And of course, I didn't wake up on my own accord. I was in beautiful "lala land" remember? I wouldn't want to leave that place so soon. Haha...

I was awaken by a SMS by Ken. He has touched down in S'pore already. That was about 10:50pm. He asked me to meet him at Terminal 2 to help sort out some logistics. Now, the background to this whole situation is this: Ken and I took different flights back to S'pore. According to our flight schedule, it was only 10 minutes difference. My flight was scheduled to land at 11pm. We are supposed to meet each other at Changi Airport to split the work of bringing the logistics back.

Under normal circumstances, it is not too bad to wait 10-15mins for someone else at the airport. But it was New Year's Eve!!! So when I received the SMS from Ken, I was suprised that I was still at Medan's Airport. My plane didn't move an inch! So Ken has arrived in S'pore and I'm still in Medan. Ken has to wait 1 and a half hour for me at the airport on New Year's Eve! I felt sorry for him. But I could not do anything. Or at least that was what I thought.

With Ken waiting alone at the aipport in mind, I thought about taking over the cockpit to fly the plane faster. Maybe to speed it up a little. However, on second thoughts, it dawned on me that the only flying experience I had was on Microsoft's Flight Simulator (a PC game)! So I guess I'll be better off minding my own business in my seat. In the end, I ended up doing business in the cramped toilet for 30 mins! (Hey, it is not easy to do business in there when the plane is moving ok?)

The time was fast approaching 12 midnight and we were about to land in S'pore. Then with 20 seconds to the new year, a female voice came through the speakers: "Ladies and gentlemen, we have a request from a passenger to do the countdown on the plane together." Everybody cheered! "10!.... 9!..... 8!..... 7!..... 6!...... 5!...... 4!...... 3!....... 2!....... 1!!!!" The whole plane erupted with cheers and greetings! Happy New Year!!! Haha... It was the first time I saw a plane so lively. It was also the first time I spent the first few moments of a new year on a plane! Still can't believe that I did the countdown on a plane!

What a way to start 2009!

So of course, the first familiar face that I saw in 2009 was Ken. Haha... So happy to see him again in 2 different countries in a span of less than a day. He was the last familiar face I saw in 2008 and the first familiar face I saw in 2009. He must be really tired after one long day of travelling and after waiting for me for more than an hour! He was telling me how interesting it was to spend the first few moments of the new year in the airport. Haha... We sorted out our stuff and wished each other Happy New Year and left the airport.

For me, it was a new way to start the new year. It was interesting to say the least. What about you? How did you start your new year? Countdown Party? Hang out with friends? With family? Going crazy at some palce? On a plane (like me)? I hope you have enjoyed yourself.

With the new year already here, have you asked yourself what are the things that you want to accomplish this year? You can begin now and set out to do those things. By the way, don't bother to make New Year's Resolutions. Because according to research, New Year's Resolutions do not work. What works is a goal. A SMMART goal. (If you are not sure what a SMMART goal is, you can look it up in my book.)

I already have my goals written down. There a couple of things I would like to accomplish this year. What about you? Set your goals and make sure you take action and then your LIFE, WILL NEVER, EEEEEEEE................EEEEEEE..................EEVER, BE THE SAME, AGAIN!