Day 20: #Celebratelife365

A friend sent me photos of my celebrity brother today. I’m so pleased to see he’s so in love with his girlfriend of 8 years.

People ask me, do I still believe in love.

My answer is Yes. Though it might not happen to me, but I believe there is true love.

You don’t have to wait for special occasions to show your love. Simple things like fetching a cup of water for them is love.

#Celebratelife365 #Thrive

#RememberingLKY- When Mr Lee’s eyes met mine in SGH

Monday, 23 March 2015, Singapore lost our first Prime Minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew.

As a nation, we mourn the lost of a strong man.

As a person, I am still trying to accept the fact that he is gone. Back in the days when I was still a journalist, there were already prep work for this day. “Today” was work to me. Now I am no longer part of the newsroom, “Today” I lost someone great. I knew this day will come, but it’s still a hard fact to accept.

I am very sure I will not feel so much grief at this point in time if I were a journalist. I have gone through the deaths close ones in my life, my grandparents, my brother. I had to see through their funerals, so much needed to be done. Grief hits me only much later. As I watch my ex-colleagues from the newsroom bringing reports of the wake, and documentaries remembering Mr Lee Kuan Yew, I feel the loss. I am already missing this man. Singapore feels different, we the children of Singapore have lost our father.

I can still remember this one occasion when I met Mr Lee Kuan Yew. I was in SGH with my grandfather, and I was attending to my grandfather who was on the wheelchair. Mr Lee was with a few nurses, he was there for a medical checkup too. There, his sight caught mine. He gave me a grandfatherly smile. That was nearly 10 years ago, but it felt like yesterday. Mr Lee Kuan Yew is a tough man, but he showed me his soft side. He continued talking to the nurses, and they were all smiles. This scene kept replaying today. Mr Lee Kuan Yew gave me a good country to live in, safe and secure. A good education so that I can do my part and contribute to the society. As I type this, I can no longer control my tears. This is a story that I seldom share. Thinking of it now, I can see from his grandson’s eyes, Yi Peng, what a dear grandfather he was.

PM Lee statement– This is from our current Prime Minister, Mr Lee Hsien Loong, his “live” address at 8am on the passing of his father. I didn’t see a Prime Minister talking to the nation. I saw a son who just lost his father, and felt his pain of the loss. PM Lee first spoke in Malay, Mandarin then English. The address was short, merely 7 mins, but it must have felt like forever to PM Lee. When my brother passed away, I crafted 1 Facebook post to inform friends and relatives of our loss. It was a short message, but with every character I typed, it was a stab in my heart. PM Lee has my utmost respect for this statement.

I share this from social media, aptly recapping Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s life- A life dedicated to Singapore. Thank you Mr Lee. #ThankYouLKY

Lee Kuan Yew Life


“Assume and you make an ass out of me and u”

I came across this line in secondary school. My girlfriend Joan showed me because she thought it makes a lot of sense.

Came across this line again in my search marketing class. The lecturer Ruben put it into his notes, as he talked about being a search marketer.

Sharing this here with everyone, especially if you haven’t heard of this before. It’s very true, don’t assume. You wouldn’t want to make a joke out of yourself.

“Assume and you make an ass out of me and u”












#Thrive: Pick your battles!

One thing about a good strategist is that you pick your battles wisely, after careful consideration and analysis. You don’t jump at everything and dive straight into it.

That is not to say you don’t take risks, but you have the guts to say, “Yes, I am fully aware of the risks, and I can bear the consequences of not getting what I want, after all the investments.”

A strategist must have a clear mind, to think, to dissect information, to make analysis, and to derive answers.

If you cannot differentiate what battles to fight, perhaps it’s time to take a step back, go for a break, clear your mind, talk to people. When your brain is not cluttered, you will think better.


#Thrive: Making a better tomorrow

The choice we make today, affects our tomorrow. If we want a better future, we need to work on it today.

You want to go to the Maldives for a holiday, you have to start saving now.

You want to lose weight, you have to stop snacking today.

You want to have a healthier lifestyle, you have to stop smoking now.

You want to become an author and publish a book, you have to start writing now.

Someone asked me today, why am I making myself so busy, killing all my weekends with lessons, readings and assignments, on top of a full time job. (FYI: This is for short term. It will be over in a couple of weeks.)

Because I am preparing for my tomorrow, a better tomorrow.


Why I stopped buying #tissuepapers

Tissue paper packs

I’ve stopped buying pocket tissues from shops for a long time. It was a conscious decision.

These tissue papers you see above are from one person- an uncle in wheelchair in Middle Road. He’s the same person I chose to “buy” tissue paper from in my earlier post in 2014.

There should be more. I’ve used some of them, and many times I see the uncle sleeping, so I just left the money on the tray and left.

It’s not only this uncle who is doing this “business”. There are so many others, and not just in Middle Road.

Most of them are old, on wheelchairs, and some are handicapped. What can we do to help them? How much can they earn by selling 3 packets of tissues for $1? (Maybe $2, I don’t know for sure, because I always give at least $5.)

I mentioned this to a friend, I want to do more to help them. How many packets of tissue papers do we need? How fast do we consume them?

My heart aches, especially when I see the elderly, and they are all alone without family to take care of them. These folks remind me of my grandparents. I love my grandparents dearly, and I did anything I could in the past to protect them when they were still around. This explains why I cringe each time I see old folks who are alone, and suffer just to earn some money to survive.

I have been thinking, what can I/we do to help these people who needs help? It’s obvious selling tissue papers won’t get them enough money for living expenses and medical bills.

I keep these packets as a constant reminder of how lucky I am. The collection will only grow. I get them faster then my consumption.

I will continue to #Stopbuyingtissues from the stores, and think of how I can help all of them better, not just one uncle.

#Oldfolks #Singapore

Failure is NOT failure unless you want it to be!

Failure (noun)
an act or instance of failing or proving unsuccessful; lack of success:

His effort ended in failure. The campaign was a failure.

nonperformance of something due, required, or expected:

a failure to do what one has promised; a failure to appear.
According to
What does it mean to fail?
1. Not finishing a marathon run?
2. 1st attempt at baking a pizza and your family told you the taste can be better?
3. You have a digital campaign and it didn’t get 1million impressions?
4. Cancer hits you?
None of the above is failure. You can’t finish a marathon, it’s okay. As long as you understand why you couldn’t finish it, and learn what you can do better to finish a marathon the next time.
1st time baking a pizza, congratulations! You succeeded at your first attempt in making a pizza. Improving on the taste is a constant process, you just get better and better. Would you still call every previous attempt a failure?
You didn’t get 1 million impressions for your digital campaign. So? The campaign was held, and from planning to execution, it’s all hard work, at least you got it out. But you didn’t hit KPI, you say. You are a failure if you don’t evaluate how you can do better to get 1 million impressions the next time, maybe 2 million for the next one.
Who can stop/prevent illness like cancer striking you out of the blue? You are not a failure even if you lose the battle to the illness. The most important thing here is being able to face up to the harsh realities and challenge the odds.
My perception of success and failure evolve as I grow older. Instead of seeing it as a failure, (and beating myself up over it) I am beginning to see the other side of life. What’s the point of crying? You cannot change what has happened. What you can do is chin up, think what you can do so you will get nearer to achieving what you want the next time.
Stop whining.
You are not a failure.

Life is about choices

Not something new, but it’s a reminder from the conversation with Edgar this afternoon.

Some things are destined to be, like which family you are born into, who are your parents etc. But who you are as a person, what you do, your lifestyle , habits etc, you decide.

Stop complaining your life is horrible. If you don’t like it, do something to change it. If you are unhappy, then do something that makes you happy. You don’t like to drink coffee, and choose to drink tea.

If you feel overworked and tired, take a break. You will find yourself a more efficient worker when you are recharged. You CAN choose to take a break and continue with work, or you can force yourself to finish it first before taking a break. Find a way that suits you most, and make the choice.


Thoughts after watching “I hugged the Berlin Patient”

I watched the documentary movie “I hugged the Berlin Patient” today, by Edgar Tang. The movie was produced in 2013, and I’ve only watched it today.

I came across the movie on iTunes. Googled about the movie, and found it interesting enough to buy it to watch on my iPad.

The Berlin Patient- who is he?

He is Timothy Ray Brown, the first person in the world to be cured of HIV and Leukemia with a stem cell transplant.

Edgar Tang had a dream, a crazy one. Without much details, he went to Berlin in search of leads for interviews. Very inspiring spirits. I can sense his passion, especially having been in the TV/broadcast industry for 6 years, I know how difficult/easy it can be to get a show out. Sometimes you are lucky, sometimes you wished lady luck is on your side. Unpredictable.

I found it so relatable also because Tim recovered from Leukemia. Though not the first man to be cured of Leukamia, but he had relapses after 2 transplants. No one says with a transplant, you definitely will have a clean bill of health. Edgar, he is a cancer survivor, he had lymphoma.

Each time I come across any blood disorder or leukemia profiles, I get overwhelmed with emotions. I lost 2 very important people in my life to Leukemia, 2 warriors. First it was Queena- a good friend who made a big difference in my secondary school life, then it was Melvin, my dearest baby brother.

The movie “I hugged the Berlin Patient” has an interesting narrative. It wasn’t as simply as Edgar telling his adventure and Tim’s story on camera. I don’t want to be a spoiler and share the details. Edgar’s effort deserves to be watched and appreciated.

To be honest, I didn’t think I would be so touched by the show.

I have a habit, to write to people to tell them how I feel about their product (be it a book, blog post etc), even when I don’t know them. So I went online to search for possible ways to contact Edgar. I found him on LinkedIn, and given my premium account, I can write InMails to people who are not my contacts. So I wrote to him to thank him for the awesome show. I don’t expect a reply from Edgar, though it will be nice to have one.

This show will not let you understand the pain of a cancer patient. But you will see how hard the patients fight for a way to recover, but how difficult it is in reality. Even when you do recover, the very toxic chemotherapy leaves you with nasty side effects that you have to live with for the rest of your life.

I strongly encourage you to watch it. Especially if you do not know who is “The Berlin Patient”.