The mid week fast

I am still back tracking to cover significant events that happened on the mid-week of April 20th. I wish I had all the time in the world to write a daily journal but this is good enough, to record that which is significant. So I cropped my hair just to really be funny as the Toastmaster of the Evening(TME). Since my qualification as a Certified Toast Master(CTM), which came about by completing 10 speeches from the basic communication and leadership manual, I have been working on 2 advanced manuals, one being 'The Professional Speaker' and the other is 'Humorously Speaking'. I wanted to be the Consultant/Coach that could not only present well but could connect to the audience through humor! Here was my chance to act in the role as the TME or Master of Ceremony that night and really liven up the evening with my new look and my funny Utah English that I was mimicking. Little did I know that in the group that would meet together that night was an American couple from Anaheim! Alan Rockefeller and his wife Gina are Life Coaches on a trip here to service some clients and are also Toastmasters and they just happened to visit our ITC-Bintang club meeting.

After the meeting that night, I had planned to leave for Singapore as part of my monthly visit, plus the next day was a public holiday so I could be spared to be away from office and the school runs that I do. However things turned around as they some times do and for someone as flexible as me, it is never a problem. I felt inspired to stay on and since my family had anticipated me to be away, I would return to my office to find some quiet time to meditate, even fast and pray.

In the past week starting on Monday April 18, some strange feelings started coming to me, almost reminscent of the time when I was seeking for God and his purpose for me in Dec 1979. I have started to share those sacred experiences in a special blog that is continuing on besides this one! Now what strange feelings am I referring to? Strange to me is I guess something that is out of the ordinary or different from what I normally expect. The feeling was reminscent to 1979 because in that year, I had set my mind for a career after graduation but I had strange impressions to do otherwise.(You need to read that special blog to appreciate the unfolding story.) Anyway I started thumbing through my scripture at the office on that early Monday morning, seeking an interpretation of my strange feelings. I would do that for the next few days and I decided that the thing different that I would do this time from my usual scripture reading exercise was to type out the inspired verses of those strange moments! I felt the advantage of doing this, whether I was under the spell of 'strange feelings' or not, anyway as I could feel that the scriptural verses became more impressive to me as I typed them instead of just reading them. Call me nuts as some may have already done so but I am one who has been known to be unconventional so let it be.

Boy little did I realize that this would just eat more time off my already busy lifestyle but the result is astounding and I felt it important to do so. The interpretation? Well let the reader be the judge after I've completed typing the passages that I had to ear mark and write them in my diary in order to do the typing work when I'm free! Another blog?? Yes afraid so and the inspired verses are found at I had the intention at first to type the scriptures on the day and time I received the inspiration but I think only the first one will be accurate as I have not been detailed enough to jot down the exact time of opening up the other scriptures that seemed to be pouring out to me during those few days. As I'm completing this paragraph, already the Singapore girl is asking what time I am coming home! I shall continue this later!

Keep On Walking

Found in a Johnny Walker (liquor, just in case you wonder) advertisement in a magazine:
"Do not be afraid of going slowly,
be afraid only of standing still."
Chinese Proverb
It sure strikes a cord in my heart.
In my letter to my boss over a year ago, I quoted the following Chinese proverbs:
"The journey of a thousand miles always begins with a first step."
I took my first steps into the design world just over a year ago and find myself taking infant steps so far. But I am one who believes that given time, anyone can achieve what he/she desires to achieve.
So keep on walking, everyone!!!
"Just keep swimming, just keep swimming..." said Dory of "Finding Nemo.

Overcoming Fear

It is amazing how much can happen in just 24 hours when it may sometimes feel as if it takes a lifetime for any change to occur. Such could be the experience that I can relate to that happened to me on Wednesday the 20th of April, just a few days ago.

It was to be the night of our Toastmasters' club meeting. The theme was already set as "Love Conquers All" and I was invited to be the Toast Master of the Evening (TME). Busy as I am always with a zillion things going on, inspiration always saves the day to make it a night to remember.I was typing the agenda for the night and noted that the dress code was, 'attire to attract love' and the Word of the Day was 'Flummox' which means to bewilder. On the very evening before the meeting itself, I made a decision that would really 'Flummox' everyone. Usually, on the day that I would have a Toastmasters' meeting, I would not pick the boys home from school so that I could head to the meeting near my office after work. But on that day I decided to go do the pickup at school and be home early.

As soon as I got home, the action kicked in for me to go to the barber for a haircut. Now my usual choice of a barber is usually my wife's hairdressing salon who gives me a more perfect haircut and a wash as opposed to going to the Indian barbershop nearby. However, there were times that I would have a haircut with the boys at the Indian barbershop. The younger boys would often have their hair shaved off almost bald and look really smart and cool I thought. If only I could do the same I often told myself. These thoughts came to me again a month ago when I was at the same barbershop with the boys but I had only the courage to chose a No 2 haircut. I've learned from the barber that each number determines how short you would like your hair to be cut. No 4 would just be a trim, 3 a reasonable haircut with hair not covering the ears and a sloped back, 2 would be really short and 1 is a complete shave.

Give me a Number 1!

Well, my thoughts were to really dress up for the night's meeting in accordance with the theme and so I went for the No 1 haircut and the result is as the photos posted! Once I had overcome the fear of a 'flummox' haircut I ventured into a nearby optician and decided to change my glasses as well to the slim narrow stylish type. The Toastmaster's Meeting turned out really well and you can view the pics by clicking the link Love Theme Meeting

A few other things happened within the 24hours of that meeting which I will reveal in the next post but what do you think of the new look?

So what do you think?

Bribery in Malaysia - A question of Values vs Emotions

A friend called me up this morning that made me check out the website which had the heading of 'news and views that matter'. He was referring to my April Fool's day posting that I had made in this blog and related it to the news he had heard that Malaysiakini was in trouble with the government for their April Fool's prank. (See comments by Ah Chong, no relation, which explains what it was all about)

The issue is about corruption and bribery in our country. While I browsed the website I came across a blog posting by a fellow Malaysian on the topic so I thought I would add my comments which was based on my previous post about Values. The point I made about bribery in my comments is that giving or receiving a bribe is a very natural emotional response that most people will tend to follow. If our mindset does not have a strong foundation of proper values, we tend to become a slave to the body's emotional pull to take the easy way out to stay in the comfort zone. Who wants to take the road that leads to paying more when he could pay less? How about the trouble of finding and going to the right office to pay the fine and find out that there is a very long queue awaiting there to make payment? (How do you think I know all that?)

Additional experiences I like to add here that I didn't do so in the blog I had made my commentary follows: The first happened in Singapore where I had double parked my vehicle and found a ticket on my car windshield when I returned. Since I was leaving the island that night itself, I kept the ticket to pay it on my next visit. A month later I was in Singapore with the same car crossing the causeway. Just as I had my passport cleared at the immigration booth on the Singapore side, a policeman on bicycle directed my car to the office there and mentioned that I had a fine to pay. I told him I remembered it and actually had the ticket with me in my dashboard to pay during this visit. He just smiled and said I could conveniently pay it right at the office there too after the immigration booth which I did. The point here is that the Singapore Government made it even more convenient for a foreigner like me to pay a fine and as I paid it, I even felt happy that I didn't have to waste time looking for the housing estate office where such fines are usually paid. Another experience was in the US where I could pay a speeding ticket in Utah through the internet and a credit card.

Ease of payment can reduce the tempatation to settle through a bribe when issued a summons by one in authority. Better still if we valued honesty more than the short cuts of life that many may offer which in the end weakens us.

This triggers the story of the hungry bird that saw a man with a bag of worms. One feather is all I want said the man to the bird for a worm. The bird thought, well I could afford that and endured the pain as he plucked one feather from his body in exchange for the worm. The next day it was less painful to pluck the second feather to get his worm. This pattern continued till one day the bird could not fly any more to get his own worms for he had plucked all the feathers he needed to fly! Has this got anything to do with values that we are talking about?

Values & Fears

Do you sometimes get a sudden impression on something you already knew but didn't fully realize it until you saw it in a new light which makes you shout "Aha!" This was what happened to Archimedes who discovered the principle of displacement. He leapt from his bathtub in excitement shouting "Eureka" over and over, running naked in the streets of Syracuse!

It suddenly dawned on me recently, but no it didn't cause me to run naked, as I was discussing performance in the Toastmasters Club, that Values and Fears are two major factors that have a great effect on a person's performance. I have been active in the Toastmasters Club for the past 2 years to improve my public speaking skills. It is also a good opportunity to meet many new people from all walks of life. Everyone is trying to improve their public speaking skills through self help in a group and the idea is brilliant. Through voluntary role players, you can can make your prepared speech to a supportive audience and have an evaluator give you feedback. (See Toastmasters)

This is the observation I have made in those that improve dramatically from those who only make marginal improvements or none at all. Fear is the biggest factor to overcome in public speaking and many just never get over it. In the Toastmasters Club, very little is emphasized on how to overcome fear except that you just go up there and DO IT! Hopefully if you do it often enough, you will overcome fear. I think many end up never doing enough of speeches and excuse themselves for being busy or not having enough time when the real factor is the subconcious fear that exists. I have even seen individuals who were frozen cold during a meeting for fear of being called to do an impromtu speech and never came back for the next meeting. I think the fear factor is a strong subconcious deterrent that holds back many from their true potential. Most of us by default are afraid of failure or of making mistakes for the consequences are never pleasurable. So how can a constant reminder over regular evaluations of our faults help us reduce the fear so that we can perform better?

Next I have noticed that those who are more likely to overcome fear are those who seem to reflect stronger positive values in their character. Even if they were not eloquent in English, the ones who portrayed stronger values in their lives seem to be able to overcome their weaknesses better to give more impressive presentations and make greater improvements through time. Doesn't this apply to our lives in general in all the things we try to accomplish? If we truly value something, we try harder and we can even overcome ghostly fears through the passion of living our values.

In otherwords, the principle that I've observed is that having stronger Values defined as life-style priorities does drive performance and can even change our behaviour to overcome fear therefore increasing the probabilities of achieving our true potential in life. For the toastmaster attempting to improve his or her speech, I would advice him or her to increase his or her value of public speaking. eg A desire to change lives as opposed to speaking better to help me improve my job position. When you are out there to change lives, your body movement, eye contact, vocal variety etc will all fall into place as your mind is filled with the passion of your Values instead of the fear of making mistakes.

Values can be inculcated in us as what society does to us. Unknowingly, whether we like it or not, cultural values are sown or sewn into us from what is around us. However there is such a thing as choice and as we become more free and the information of various cultures become more free flowing, we can make shifts in our values as we become more exposed. Exposure or experience does reduce the fear of the unknown and further drives our performance to a new direction.

Take time to reflect on our experiences as this in itself is an exercise to formulate or strengthen our Values and reduce our fears at the same time. We become clearer as to what our true Values are instead of being side tracked by our mood swings. This inspires me to share my thoughts about the Body, Mind, Spirit connection which is indeed very deep and will have to be in my future postings. Meanwhile my Spiritual blog has already taken off and that will give me more basis later to talk about the connectivity of the three that some may reduce it to only two ie. The Heart and  Mind connection.

My Heart Is Full

Ok, I owe it to everyone to say something here. All of you have been a contributing factor in making my day special and memorable. We are not together physically but your kind thoughts and well wishes transcend any physical distance that lies between us. I am one happy Singapore Girl!

Happy Birthday to The Singapore Girl in her dream car! Please leave your greetings at the comments section provided, thank you

Everything happening on a Sunday!

What a day it has been! Firstly, today is the date when the Chinese commemorate a version of the Catholic's "All Souls Day" (All Souls' Day is a Roman Catholic day commemorating the faithful departed or those baptized Christians believed to be in purgatory. Deepest sympathies to all Catholics for the recent demise of Pope John Paul II) For the Chinese, it is the time to visit the grave yard of their ancestors to perform some rites and make some food offerings. For our family, it is timely to visit my mom's grave at Petaling Jaya in a Christian Cemetry where no rites are performed but just a visit in rememberance of her life here. She passed away on 22nd Oct 1982 and I had created a web memoriam for her recently at

Han and Shuan had their gymnastic competition on today and the three of us had to miss Church.They came home with a silver medal for their team event, photos posted above. The other two boys could go with their mom but she too had to attend a wedding of a friend later in the morning. With a district youth conference planning meeting for her again in the late afternoon and my visit with the boys to grandma's grave, we were glad to get together again over the dining table in the night time!

Last but not least, is born. It will contain my spiritual experiences that I had referred to in the Easter posting. They are so sacred that I felt it had to be stored in a more sacred site than this. No commentaries are allowed in that blog, just a silent testimony from an ordinary man who needed to know the truth. It symbolizes a lot like our life, ever so busy with so much happening but in the quiet moments, it is there that we will find God. Hope you will gain something from it!

A family in a Chinese Cemetry making burnt offerings 

Visiting Grandma's grave in a Christian Cemetry 

The girls won gold and the guys the silver 

Tadah! Phua Chu Kang's facestand imitated by yours truly...

This is NO Joke!

I just got mail this afternoon... ...Drum Roll... I got accepted to BYU Provo this Fall 2005!!! AhhhHHHHHHH!!! =)

Oh Noooo! Some Fool (SF) is going crazy.....

It is April 1st. Anyone played an April fools joke on you yet? Well I woke up with lots of inspiration this morning, you know... Sun Fu's(SF's) inspirational thoughts, get the connection??

I am going to send an email to everyone I know, and I mean everyone in the whole wide world, with the heading, THIS IS NOT AN APRIL FOOL'S JOKE! I will attach a profile of myself which will be found at (PC view only) and make an offer that is valid only if they respond to me before their mid-night of April 1, local time and date.

The offer is simply this. I am officially launching my public speaking and coaching career on April 1 and therefore anyone can book me this year to speak at their establishment at a rate of paying anything they like, even paying nothing is ok, if they simply send me a reply mail to saying, I reserve you this April Fool's Day! Time and details can be worked out later.

Remember, this is not an April Fool's Joke!