Archive for January 2008

Have You Ever Wonder Even More…

January 30, 2008

Now that the curiosity of the mind has been piqued, it’s always useful to pay attention to things around us. And this will led us to discover even more wonders that follow…

Have you ever wonder…

If all roads lead to Rome, where do the streets go?

Why does the bread always fall butter side down?

If what goes up must come down, what happens to the things that go down?

If rabbits’ feet are so lucky, how come the rabbit doesn’t have ’em?

Why, when faced with a choice of 2 doors upon entering a building, will you always pick the locked one first?

How can you be overdrawn and still have checks?

Why does one wheel on a shopping cart always tend to go opposite the direction you want to go?

Why do hot dogs come in 10’s and buns in 8’s?

Why do birds wait until after you’ve washed your car before they drop on it?

Why does the telephone wait until you’re in the bathroom before it rings?

Why is it that you throw away something the day before you need it?


Have You Ever Wonder…

January 29, 2008

I’ve always been fascinated by those tongue-in-cheek questions about things around us. Those thoughts yield no direct answer, yet are so intriguing that they warrant some pondering. Being in a light hearted yet thoughtful mood today, I’ve decided to dig out of some of these commonly asked questions.

We often take life for granted and sometimes, straight forwardly accept the things that be. But are they really that direct?

Whatever the real explanations may be, the idea is to remain curious about the mysterious of life and the wonders of living.

Enjoy. 🙂

Have you ever wonder…

…why the sun lightens our hair, but darkens our skin?

…why women can’t put on mascara with their mouth closed?

…why you don’t ever see the headline “Psychic Wins Lottery”?

…..why “abbreviated” is such a long word?

…why doctors call what they do “practice”?

…why you have to click on “Start” to stop your Windows program?

…..why lemon juice is made with artificial flavor, while dishwashing liquid is made with real lemons?

…why the man who invests all your money is called a broker?

…why there isn’t mouse-flavored cat food?

…who tastes dog food when it has a “new & improved” flavor?

…why Noah didn’t swat those two mosquitoes?

…why they sterilize the needle for lethal injections?

…why they don’t make the whole plane out of the material used for the indestructible black box?

…why sheep don’t shrink when it rains?

…why they are called apartments when they are all stuck together?

…if con is the opposite of pro, is Congress the opposite of progress?

…why they call the airport “the terminal” if flying is so safe?

The Top 10 Ultimate Dreams Of Malaysians

January 28, 2008

In a separate survey conducted by “The China Post”, it was noted that Malaysians view having health and well being for their family members as the most important ultimate dreams. Closing in not far behind is their dream of earning money, lots of it definitely, while health and fitness took 3rd place.

The overall results of the survey for the ultimate dreams of Malaysians are as follows:


Ultimate Dreams


To Have Health and Well Being for Family members


To Earn Money


To Have Health and Fitness


To Travel the World


To Own An Ideal House


To Be with Their Spouse Till Old Age


To Start a Business


To Strike Lottery


To Be a Volunteer or Contribute to Charity


To Buy a Luxurious Car

More points for reflection:

** What can you comment about the dreams of Malaysians?

** Comparing this with the survey of top Singaporeans’ dreams, what are the differences between these two surveys? What do these differences imply for the people of both countries?

** Whichever country you reside in, how do you think is possible for you to achieve these dreams?

Making your dream come true is always a series of executions where strategy meets effort. It’s always worthwhile to achieve if you are convinced of your own dreams.

To make it happen, you’ve got to want it to happen. In short, you have to Excel Beyond Excellence!

(related links: The Top 10 Ultimate Dreams Of Singaporeans)

What You Must Know To Embark On The Path Of Employment

January 27, 2008

Yesterday was a day filled with deep meaning, purpose and reflection for me. Being the trainer and developer of these particular courses, I was an invited guest of the official launching ceremony of “Sayang Kerja, Sayang Keluarga” (SK2) (The meaning of the words implies to Love Your Work, Love Your Family).

It’s great to meet my participants once again and to give a presentation, keeping them motivated as they continue on their path to seek employment. I still remember their names as we see each other in delight. The Befrienders, whom I have recently trained them in Counseling and Coaching Skills, also attended the event.

The auditorium was well set up when I arrived. The media had already arrived, assembling their equipments meticulously. This training program and launch is going to be featured on the Suria Channel, Channel News Asia and Channel U.

At the same time, the familiar faces instantly brought a smile to my face. I enjoyed catching up with some of the course participants, both from SK2  training and from the counseling and coaching courses. It was encouraging knowing that the jobseekers have been keeping their spirit up and going, proactively shifting their paradigm with regards to employment seeking.

The Guest of Honor for the event was Mr Hawazi Daipi, Senior Parliamentary Secretary from the Ministry of Manpower and Special Guest was Dr Teo Ho Pin, Mayor of North West District. When they arrived, various testimonies and reports were presented.

The grand ceremony and launch took place with the symbolic piecing together of a giant heart. The Guest of Honor, the Special Guest and I had a chat afterwards regarding the trainings and what else we can do to support the participants. It’s always heartening to know we are seeing the results from the trainings and the entire program.

During my presentation segment, I emphasized on the key essentials of employment seeking. It will also be most beneficial for the jobseekers to know these key pointers:

1. Your positive attitude draws in the positive nods of employers.

2. Get your job directions right first. Knowing what you want yet not being to restrictive helps you open up the job options.

3. The interview is the key turning point to get the job. So make sure you are up to the mark when it comes to handling interviews.

4. There is no shame in being unemployed. This is just a transitional phase that everyone goes through now and then. As long as you are willing to do something about it, there’s hardly anything to grief or feel guilty about.

5. It’s possible to amass a large number of job opportunities in your job bank. Follow through constantly on what you have been taught and advised. It’s only a simple matter of knowing where to search and how to draw the jobs to you.

6. There are always help and support available, from the Befrienders to the agencies to the Career Consultants. Get to know them, talk to them. They are your pillars of support, advice and encouragement.

7. Take charge of your life first. It’s really up to you. No one will do all these work for you. You’ve got to want it to make it happen.

What pleased me tremendously was that ever since the series of workshops, some of the participants have been gainfully employed. A number of them are attending job placement courses, which will guarantee them jobs, while the rest maintains that positive active search for employment.

It’s a simple step in the right direction to making a positive change.

And may you Excel Beyond Excellence!

The Top 10 Ultimate Dreams Of Singaporeans

January 25, 2008

Many of us strive and work hard in pursue of certain dreams. It is often the desires to attain these dreams that consume our entire time and life. We talk about them, read about them and even literally dream about them in our sleep.

According to a recent survey by a local bank, Singaporeans were asked on what kind of lifelong dreams they would really want. It was also discovered that out of every 2 Singaporeans, 1 of them would like to travel the world as their ultimate dream.

Listed below are the survey’s top 10 rankings for the ultimate dreams of Singaporeans:


Ultimate Dreams


To Travel the World


To Improve and Develop Oneself


To Earn Money


To Own An Ideal House


To Have Health and Fitness


To Set up a Family with Children


To Be a Volunteer or Contribute to Charity


To Own a Car


To Start a Business


To Retire

Points for reflection:

** What do these dreams and their rankings say about Singaporeans?

** How about you? What is your own lifelong dream?

** More importantly, what are you doing now to fulfill your ultimate dream?

Whatever your dream is, I encourage you to stay on this road. Make it a worthwhile dream to accomplish. Make it a life worth living.

And may you Excel Beyond Excellence!

Proven Tips To Boost Your Public Speaking And Presentation Skills (Part 9)

January 24, 2008

Back at my own Club, The National University of Singapore Toastmasters Club (NUSTMC), we’ve been enjoying a series of wonderful speeches. I am glad that people are committed to becoming better speakers. The project slots have been graciously filled and I do know that extra meetings had to be organized to meet the demands of members.

Just two nights ago, our regular weekly meeting had me in stitches. You should have seen the faces of the audience; they truly took pleasure in attending the session. What’s more, the language games were totally hilarious and fun.

Being the Language Evaluator for the night, I took note of the creative ways the speakers used the given phrases. I must compliment that they are a rather resourceful and imaginative group of speakers.

More observations and sharing followed after the session. In addition, I made some of the additional comments to the presenters:

1. Avoid overloading the audience with statistics. While numbers do impress, they can serve to confuse when overused. Remember, the audience is listening, so if numbers are being run off too quickly or concurrently, the audience will soon get overwhelmed by them and lose the underlying message. Unless impressiveness and confusion is your objective, use statistics with care.

2. Know the impact of your punch-line. They help you deliver your jokes or your key point. Make sure your punch line comes off clearly, be it in your vocal variety or through your body language. Otherwise, the whole paragraph fizzles out as your audience will be unsure when to laugh or when to take note of your main point.

3. Ensure that your emotional words coincide with the right emotions display… unless comedy is on your mind. A slight carelessness often leads to a misfit of facial expression to the words. If you want to portray that you are sad, make sure your face shows sadness instead of that smiley, polite grin. It minimizes your speech impact and you end up contrasting it with your content. Like what I said, unless comedy is your intent.

I simply love to hear quality speeches. They make you aspire, think and grow. Let’s keep making speeches, so that we may Excel Beyond Excellence!

The Keys to Enhance and Enrich Your Counseling and Coaching Sessions

January 22, 2008

It was Sunday two days ago, a much waited rest day for many. Yet I applaud the overwhelm number of people who turned up for the full day training. This showed their commitment and their strength to care for others. This made me inspired too and the energy in the training was amazing. In this session, “Essential Counseling and Coaching Skills”, I was training them to become better Befrienders.

A Befriender will need both the sets of skills to relate effectively to their clients. Because of the fast changing pace and trends of modern societies, the Befriender will have to be more equipped in handling varying demands and client types.

The clients they take on will typically have more multi-facet issues that are interconnected with each other. This makes the counseling and coaching sessions with the clients even more fluid. This further means that the direction of such encounters might take on different dimensions and perspectives. Being even more prepared is so much more crucial nowadays.

Hence in the training, we explored the keys and techniques of making their meet-up session more enriching and meaningful. Some of the keys were:

1. The Importance of Rapport. Without rapport with the clients, you won’t have trust with each other and openness in the counseling and coaching relationship. This becomes the key bridge for effectiveness in the sessions.

2. The Art of Validation. When you first validate and support the emotions of your clients, they become more confident. They also become more aware of what they are going through. Validation becomes more of a ‘forward moving’ determination instead of a ‘getting-stuck-in-the-now’ situation.

3. The Need to Establish Commitment. This seeks to put in the will and determination of the client to following through the plans that were set out. A regular commitment check is crucial to ensure progress is made. I always share this notion in a brief sentence, “No Commitment, No Progress.”

4. A Time To Equip the client instead of spoon-feeding them. It’s always a gray area as to how much might you be spoon feeding your client. If you realize that you are doing things for them instead of guiding or advising them to do it for themselves, then perhaps that might be a time for a re-evaluation of your counseling or coaching progress.

It’s better to equip them with the skills and attitudes of empowerment instead of depriving them of the ability to make things happen without you. It’s never clear-cut, but you can always choose between “giving the fish” or “teaching them how to fish”. The latter is usually better in the long run.

5. The Understanding of  Priority Setting matters so much more. Prioritizing helps both you and your client decide which major issues to focus on and the consequential steps to take. It also gives you a progressive plan as a result.

With so much in demand, you have to start deciding the key scope because there is no way you can resolve all issues at once. Most requires a clear minded exploration of personal priority. Discuss this with your clients, help them grip their situation tight, and begin to set out a priority and a plan for your sessions.

As you proceed in your meeting up with your clients, do keep all these keys in mind together with whatever was shared in the trainings. Do strive to incorporate these skills so that you can enhance your capability as a counselor and a coach. Remember, it’s really about your clients and the lives you are about to change.

Best wishes to you and always Excel Beyond Excellence!

It’s Really About Living Your Legacy!

January 20, 2008

Under the Toastmasters International annual schedule of events, every Division is to organize Club Officers’ Trainings for the Executive Committee members for the Toastmasters Club under their Division. Yesterday was the Division S Club Officer’s Training. A lot of Executive Committee turned out in force. The training was hosted at AIA Changi Toastmasters’ meeting rooms. And if you don’t know by now, there is always a buzz of excitement and a sense of exhilaration whenever Toastmasters gather.

Leadership training, in my opinion, is extremely important. The quality and know-how of the leaders will direct affect the success or failure of the entire Club. You can’t be too slack and casual in selecting leaders. They matter.

When the management and leadership of any organization are capable, efficient and effective, they leave a positive mark. They make that difference of excellence and brilliance. They are fondly remembered for their legacy.

Being invited as a key speaker for yesterday’s training, I spoke on the topic “Live Your Legacy”. I chose the theme based on my experience and encounters over the years as Area Governor and Division Governor, as President of various organizations as well as with the leaders I have coached.

I spoke on the notion of leadership legacy because I fervently believe that a leader should strive to make a difference. Not because they have to but because they can. And to truly make a difference and leave a legacy, the leader has to first live in his own legacy. Elected as Executive Committee members, they can be the one to make their term of office special and remarkable in terms of creating long-lasting difference to the Clubs, their members and to the community at large.

Some of the major educational concepts shared included:

1. Understanding the art of including inputs and involving people along with their talents.

2. Working on getting common and united values for their organizations.

3. Appreciating the mathematics of leadership. Knowing how much more to do to get the results you want.

There was so much learning yesterday that everyone took back home something. The breakout sessions were useful as it allowed for upfront inquiries and close interaction amongst the Club Officers of similar appointments.

With all these understandings in mind, it’s about taking those steps to make a difference.

It’s ultimately about Excelling Beyond Excellence to Live Your Legacy!

The Truth About Getting Your Work and Your Life Balanced

January 18, 2008

I was conducting another run of the 2-day training, “Work-Life Skills For Individual and Organizational Benefits” today. As a reflective component, I requested the participants to consider and contemplate where their lives are going. Meanwhile, I shared with them some of the truths about getting their lives in order. I invite you to ponder on these too:

1. Negativity in your mind prevents solutions in your life.

2. You can only have real balance in your life if you have real control over your mind.

3. The balance, or lack of it, in your life, will directly affect the balance of other’s lives in your life.

Proven Tips To Boost Your Public Speaking And Presentation Skills (Part 8)

January 17, 2008

1. When you decide to open your speech with a humorous story, remember to tie it well into the theme of your speech.

2. The pause and the punch line should be used artfully together in creating a humorous moment in your speech

3. If you intend to personalize your story, remember to make it simple and remove the jargons.