Category Archives: Goals & Resolution

What a Weird, and Wonderful Week!

Forest fires raging in Indonesia,   Weird and Wonderful Weekend

Smog, haze sweeping over Singapore.

The clear, clean blue sky that Singapore is famous for, is replaced by dirty, hazy and grey smog.

Everywhere you go, everyone is wearing surgical masks or respirators.

This is the setting that has been shrouding Singapore for the past 1 week.

The mood of Singaporeans has also become as grey as the weather.

Singaporeans are complaining about the quality of the air, or blaming the Indonesia for the situation.

Yet its under such a unclear and blurry setting that I found myself feeling awesome and wonderful!

“Shaun, are you crazy, you are actually enjoying this!”

No I don’t enjoy the smog, nor do I love to see people suffer.

Its just that I have learnt a lot of lessons and I will like to share them on “Live! With Fear”.

The first lesson is to be “present”.

Have you ever been at work physically, but your heart is somewhere else?

That used to happen to me, and it was quite a pain. Time crawled by painfully. Every single piece of work felt like a chore. There were only 2 things that I looked forward to: Lunch break, and knocking off time. Everyday at work was a torture.

Fast forward to present times: Things changed.

Nope, my job hasn’t changed. But what changed was my approach: I started having a daily “Just Do it” task.This task is one which is important but which I don’t do either because its difficult to do, because I find it “troublesome” or simply because I don’t like it.

I used to see such tasks as a chore but now I see it as a challenge.

For example, last week I had to update my company’s finance manual. To do so required me to first re-learn a software which I had only used once previously. On top of that I had to write and send out a circular which captures the essence of the update to the users.

Once I started on my “Just Do It” task, time flew by. At the end of 6 hours, I finally finished the update.

I was totally present, totally engaged, and the sense of satisfaction is immense. I had stretched my comfort zone (i.e. re-learning the software), and completed a difficult task.

What I learnt is that setting a “Just Do it” task to do everyday, increases my focus and presence, and it brings me much satisfaction when I finish the task.

The second lesson that I want to share is “Positivity begets positivity, negativity begets negativity.”

As I mentioned earlier, the mood surrounding Singapore is as gloomy as the smog casting over the Singapore sky.

Even with the smog around I was feeling great as I was present, but when I checked in on Facebook, I saw the rantings made by my friends on the haze. I started feeling cranky.

Have you found yourselves feeling negative because of the negative things people say?

I understand that its frustrating given the situation But I caught myself, I told myself if I focus only on the haze and the smog, I will see nothing but the smog and the haze. I stopped looking at the negative postings and instead started reading the positive messages that are shared on Facebook. It helped! I felt positive again.

I was tested at home too. One day my father suddenly lashed out at me, I was angered, I walked over intending to give him a piece of my mind. But bearing in the mind that negativity begets negativity, and that if I were to tell him off, that will only escalate into Word War X. (Not a typo error, as the war is expected to be that of words, and “X” represents the ….er hem…. descriptive words). Instead I gave him a hug, telling him that its going to be alright. He calmed down visibly. Yes, positivity begets positivity.

This is what I I learnt from this experience: if I focus on happy things, I will be happy, if I focus on the unhappy things, I will be unhappy.

The third set of lessons I learnt was that of not take things personally, and to celebrate myself and others. Yesterday, I was out with a group of friends. One of my friends (I shall call him John) commented that my club contest speech was not as good as another of my friend who was there (I shall call him Peter).

How would you feel if such a comment was given in a company of friends?

My heart was crushed. Even though I was the contestant who advanced to the next level of the contest, that statement threatened to take the victory away from me. At that moment I acknowledged the pain but I asked myself: “Do you want to stay crushed and allow your victory to be taken, or do you want to be happy?” I told myself: “I want to be happy and keep my victory.”

This is what I got from this experience: “I will be much happier if I stop taking things personally.” John’s opinion is his truth, not mine. My truth is as important if not more important. Even if the whole world don’t appreciate my speech, I appreciate my own speech. Encouragement and appreciation comes from within, not from outside. Furthermore, my speech was appreciated by the judges otherwise I would not have gotten first runner up. I celebrated myself silently at that point.

We moved on to another topic, we talked about how to deliver a good speech, Peter shared his speech template. I didn’t think much at that point in time. However while I was in reflecting on the events of the previous day, I thought that the template was awesome, and that the creator, Peter was even more awesome. I sent Peter a text this morning, thanking him for the tip. I had an “Aha” moment after I sent the text: When I celebrate an individual and his/her gifts, the gifts and the strength which I am celebrating becomes a part of me. Just as how I have internalized the template which Peter has shared.

Hence the lesson I learnt from this encounter was not to take things personally and to celebrate myself and others.

As I look out of the window, its clear! I hope it stays clear but regardless as to whether it stays the same, I am happy and grateful for the lessons I have gained this weird, and wonderful week. They are:

1) Be Present

2) Positivity begets positivity, negativity begets negativity

3) Don’t take things personally, and to celebrate myself and others.

Have a fantastic week ahead!


Your fellow human being:)

Fear of Hard Work

How I wish I can be…..!                     Fear of Hardwork

How I wish I can have….!

Have you ever found yourself saying that before?

Each of us have our own…., the…… represents what we want or what we want to be. Maybe its to be rich, maybe its to have someone to love?

My friends, have you ever wondered:

How do we bridge the gap between our wishes and the realization of our wishes?

How do we attain our wishes?

Yesterday, I had a meeting with my support group from the “Living in Passion” Program which I graduated from 2 weeks ago.

During the conversation, my group mate Maggie mentioned about her experience being a support to a friend, in keeping her friend accountable to the goals that were set.

“I used to text my friend: “Good Morning, what is your plan for the day?”. After a while my friend stopped responding.Text after texts, no replies came.

Finally my friend called me and said: ” You know Maggie, maybe I am happy being the way I am.”

This incident with my friend taught me improvement and goals are difficult to attain, it takes lots of hard work. Many people find that they are not willing to put in the hard work to reach their goals.”

My friends, I learnt from this as sharing by Maggie, that to realize our wishes, hard work is needed.

Have you ever been put off by hard work, have you ever feared putting in hard work?

Fear of hard work is one of my greatest fears. For me this fear does not have a symptom, such as shaking of legs, tummy turning. For me this fear works in the background and simply keeps me from even thinking about the things that I need to do.

That sharing by Maggie stirred my thoughts, and the question came: “What is the missing link between my goals and hard work?” i.e.How do I get myself to work hard?

I left the discussion group with that BIG question mark, hanging over my head.

Have that ever happened to you? What did you do when you have the Big question mark hanging over your head?

For me, after a couple of frowning, pondering moments, i knew it was getting me nowhere. I decided to I let the idea run at the back of my head while I continue to do what I needed to do. As they say: “The brain is an answer seeking machine.” I soon found answers from an unexpected source: Facebook. I was looking at some of the latest postings, and I saw this quote from Steven Covey, the late author of the book, “7 habits of an Effective Person”.

It says: “You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage – pleasantly, smilingly, non-apologetically – to say ‘no’ to other things. And the say to do that is by having a BIGGER ‘YES’ burning inside.” The thing that captured my attention was the phrase “a BIGGER ‘yes’.”

I got it:  To overcome the fear of hard work, to make all the pain, the sacrifice worth it, I need a Bigger ‘YES’, a Bigger ‘Goal’! The Goal got to be bigger than all the pain and sacrifices

Then comes the question: “What is the Big Goal?” To me the big goal is that one thing I got to do in order to fulfill my life’s purpose. it varies from person to person, after all we are here on earth for a unique reason.

I starting seeing the Fear of hardwork in a different light.

I see it as a test to see if My goal/wish/want is BIG enough.

With this realization, I will work hard to realize my goals.

My goals are to be:

1) An excellent Finance Manager, that can help the business improve.

2) To create a better life for myself and my family, by building multiple passive income streams via online medias.

3) A public speaker to spread the good word that: “We all have choices!”

The hard work that is expected this month are:

1) Study about the nuts and bolts of the new industry that I will be working in.

2) Relearn and reinforce accounting concepts.

3) Enhance the website “” to improve the visuals, and usability, enable Google Adsense on my website

4) Continue delivering project speeches at toastmasters setting, and to earn opportunities to speak outside of toastmasters.

My friends, next time when you say:

How I wish I …….?

Maybe you can ask: Is this a Big Goal? Or is it a nice to have?

If its a Big Goal, be prepared to work hard. If its a nice to have, do you have the time or passion to work hard.

(P.S I will report the status i.e. the results of my hard work at the end of the month under comments.)


Your fellow human being;)


My Lunar New Year’s Resolution

Lunar New year, signals the arrival of spring, for the Chinese its the most important festival, signalling a brand new start.

Its the Chinese equivalent of the First of January of the Gregorian Calender.

This year I didn’t make any resolutions on 01 January 2013. That’s because I had 2 fears actually.

The first is that I will not fulfil my resolution, the second is that I have to work hard for it. In fact I think its my fear of working hard that is preventing me from making the resolutions.

Over the Lunar New Holiday (from 09 – 12 February 13), I had the chance to think about my life. “Am  I willing to let fear of working hard prevent me from making my mark in life, or preventing me from living the life mission?”

That thought ended me in me I waking up in cold sweat, the fear of not accomplishing anything in life, has once again prompted me to act.

My resolution this year is to earn 150K in passive income. I came up with this amount after calculating how much I need in order to sustain the ideal lifestyle that I will like to have. (More about that in a another post)

One of the greatest fears regarding resolution, is that the goal seems too great to achieve. I have zero passive income now, 150K is a long shot. It can get discouraging just by thinking about it.

What did I do then? I determined the “how”. How refers to “How do I get there?”

I have identified 2 ways to do so:

1. On-line business

2. Investments

In the area of online business, I will sell an ebook. In the case of the latter, I will trade in shares, bonds and other assets.

Now that is not specific enough, to make life easier, we need to further breakdown the “how” into “achievable bits” over a designated timeframe. In my case, I decided that on a weekly basis I am going to write an article or a speech which will contribute towards the content of the book. On a weekly basis, I am going learn about one industry. I will learn about the SWOT (Strength, weakness, opportunity, threats) of the market leaders of the industry.

By writing this post, I have already fulfilled one of my goals, or “achievable bits”, and the industry I am going to study about is property.

After taking breaking the “how” into achievable bits. the next thing is “Just Do it”

At the end of the designated period (in my case 1 week),  take stock of what’s being done. If things don’t out the way you anticipated. Understand how happened to stop you from achieving the goals, overcome the problem and DO IT!

Take for example, I missed out on writing an article this week, because I was busy celebrating the Lunar New Year. I will simply make up for it. I will 2 articles, the following week.

And if you have done it, celebrate like crazy! Yes celebrate like crazy! Have an ice cream, shout to the world, or even a pat on your back. The purpose is to anchor the feeling of euphoria, of feeling good with the accomplishment of the “achievable bits”. Once that is done over time, you will gain the craving of success, and you will automatically do what’s necessary.

For me its simple, I will give myself a pat on my back, and update my success journal before I sleep. In fact, now I have the blog to shout out my successes in life

In short a key to a successful implementation of the new year resolution:

1. Be present with the fear of not being able to achieve anything in life.

2. Come up with a clear and specific resolution.

3. Break the resolution into “achievable bits”.

4. Just Do it!

5. Take stock of what you have done.

6. If things don’t turn out right, find out why, address it and then DO it!

7. Where things turn out right. Celebrate like crazy!!!

To a successful and prosperous Lunar New Year!


Your fellow human:)