Today is a public holiday as Labor Day which is May 1st here fell on a Sunday yesterday. Great! We love long weekends as it's a chance to rest, catch up or do something different as a recreational activity.
Well it's already May so I must finish the account of that week which I have termed strange or different. Could I reflect back on the whole month of April and integrate all my thoughts in that month which could perhaps make some sense of whats been happening?
Last April 1st was when the inspiration began, to announce to the world that I was beginning my public speaking and coaching career. Never has the motivation been stronger than ever as in this period of time. But did everything start just on this April 1st? I searched back into my manual journals to the year 1983.My desire to be an independent professional had already started then.
Lo and behold, it was April 1st of 1983 that I handed my resignation letter to my boss of the Chartered Accounting firm I was employed with to become an associate to him instead and run my own independent consulting business. Joining me was Alvin Tan who was interested to start a computer business with me and that gave birth to ITC Group & Associates of management consultants and IT providers.ITC was an acronym my father had coined up who offered us a small part of his office to begin with. We thought it was appropriate as ITC could stand for so many things that had meaning to us. It could be an Initiative of Thong & Chong, the family name of my wife and I respectively or T could be for Alvin's surname of Tan though he came in without capital but was appropriated shares in the IT business. Information Technology of course was represented also in the acronym but what I liked best were the words Integrated Trans which began to represent more of my direction of Integrating disciplines with a Trans or across borders effect. C could also stand for Consulting or Corporation. We experienced the length and breadth of the IT and business world which gave me an education that has become invaluable today. Alvin later took his own path to work in Taiwan and several other countries as an IT engineer while I continued in the consulting business and raising our family. A highlight of my career was the experience to act for International companies expanding into Asia as their CEO here.
It is interesting to note now 22 years later the following continuation of occurences of that 'strange' week:
After the Toastmaster's Club meeting some of us went to a nearby cafe for fellowship especially with our American couple from Anaheim. I was particularly interested in the couple as they introduced themselves as Life Coaches . I have begun an interest in the field of Coaching, though it was Executive Coaching in the business world that I was focused on, and I was interested in learning more from this couple. How coincidental I thought it was that they chose our club to attend out of the 90 clubs found in the Klang valley where we are in. At the cafe, coincidentally Alvin Tan my former partner had joined us. He decided to join the club to improve his communication skills. As I was in a mid-week fast, I couldn't partake of any food and drink but the conversations among friends was refreshing enough for me. I felt inspired to call a Pastor friend who has been sharing his personal challenges with me to see if he would like to meet the coach and we fixed a time next morning to do so at my office. Alvin Tan followed me back to the office and we had a very interesting discussion of some common interest in the IT world. All this while he has been very keen to join up with me again with some software ideas and skills he had acquired but they were not in line with my vision. All of a sudden, in that casual conversation at my office, it was as if he had run into an idea that has been in my mind for a while. More about that when we launch it!
I continued to fast and meditate as more scriptures appeared to me and they are now recorded.
In the morning, I went to pick the Pastor friend and met up with coach Alan F. Rockefeller who spent time with us at my office where I learnt more of his story and coaching experience. I met up with Alan later who joined us in our Church KL branch pool side BBQ social where I also broke my fast. Before dropping the Pastor friend back, we went to check out the first and newest Border's Book store just across the back of my office in the Times Square Building. I bought 2 books from there and the interesting thing to note is that The Book of Mormon is now sold in the commercial store. So was Mormon Doctrine and Mormonism for Dummies!
I reflected back to my mission days in 1980-82 where I initiated a project to place the Book of Mormon at several major bookstores in the city with a self designed plastic holder entitled Ancient America Speaks. It carried pamphlets of Christ in America too! Through that project it attracted David Ching, a recent convert from New Zealand who didn't know the Church was in Malaysia and two new converts Felix Yong and Wong Yut Weng, who are stalwart members and leaders to this day.
On Friday of that week, I had a coaching session with my associate WK Leong of JMC Consulting and worked with him on a facilitation session on Time Management with ICI Paints. I was pleased to read the feedback survey from the participants who rated the entire session as good and relevant for them.
Oh yes, I mustn't forget about the part of buying a bike. During that week, I had the inspiration to get a bigger bike as I had always wanted to own one especially after touring Australia in my Honda 500-4 during my University days. Bigger bikes are not as popular in Malaysia and I had been using the smaller scooter as a handy commuter in town. A scrambler bike was acquired to explore trails in my free time when we were not taking our boat out to the wilderness. But a big bike was not in my thoughts until this week. I went to the bike shop in Ampang where I had bought most of my bikes and asked regarding a bigger road bike. He mentioned there was a nice Kawasaki Vulcan 500cc that a man was selling which was hardly used but it was in another place getting some work done. He said I could view it on Friday and when I went there, he said it was not back. On Saturday, I checked again and he said the shop owner who wanted to sell it took it for himself. Well in the following week I just passed by a shop near my office and noticed some big bikes by the road. Lo and Behold there was this 6 speed Kawasaki Vulcan waiting for me to ride on it and so I decided to acquire it and rode it home on the same day. The Singapore Girl got a ride to Genting Highlands in the night after putting the boys to sleep, a cool ride from the home up to the summit of the Casino Highland resort in just 45 minutes! We enjoyed the free hot chocholate drink in the casino and made our way home!