Sunday, 31 March 2013

Optimist / Optimism

An optimist is like a kettle – up to its neck in hot water, and still whistling. - Unknown

An optimist is one who makes the best of it when he gets the worst of it. - Unknown

An optimist is the human personification of spring. - Susan J. Bissonette

I always like to look on the optimistic side of life, but I am realistic enough to know that life is a complex matter. - Walt Disney

I have become my own version of an optimist. If I cant make it through one door, Ill go through another door – or Ill make a door. Something terrific will come no matter how dark the present. - Rabindranath Tagore

It doesnt hurt to be optimistic. You can always cry later. - Lucimar Santos De Lima

One of the things I learned the hard way was that it doesnt pay to get discouraged. Keeping busy and making optimism a way of life can restore your faith in yourself. - Lucille Ball

Optimism is a happiness magnet. If you stay positive, good things and good people will be drawn to you. - Unknown

Optimism is essential to achievement and it is also the foundation of courage and true progress. - Unknown

Optimism is not the result of blinding oneself to problems, but of always believing there is a solution. - Unknown

Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence. - Helen Keller

Optimism, unaccompanied by personal effort, is merely a state of mind and not fruitful. - Unknown

Put on the glasses of optimism and you will see a world of potential. - Unknown

Stick with the optimists. Its going to be tough enough even if theyre right. - James Reston

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Lies / Lying

A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes. - Mark Twain

A lie would have no sense unless the truth were felt as dangerous. - Alfred Adler

A single lie can make all your truths questionable. - Unknown

Any fool can tell the truth, but it requires a man of some sense to know how to lie well. - Samuel Butler

He who permits himself to tell a lie once finds it much easier to do it a second and third time till at length it becomes habitual. - Thomas Jeffeson

He who tells a lie is not sensible of how great a task he undertakes; for he must be forced to invent twenty more to maintain that one. - Alexander Pope

If one cannot invent a really convincing lie, it is often better to stick to the truth. - Angela Thirkell

If you lie too often and get away with it, you will trap yourself in a world of self-deception. - Unknown

It is the patriotic duty of every man to lie for his country. - Alfred Adler

Lying increases the creative faculties, expands the ego, and lessens the frictions of social contacts. - Claire Booth Luce 

Lying is the most simple form of self-defence. - Susan Sontag

Never chase a lie. Let it alone, and it will run itself to death. - Lyman Beecher

Oh, what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive! - Sir Walter Scott

People will more easily fall victim to a big lie than to a small one. - Adolf Hitler

Sin has many tools, but a lie is the handle which fits them all. - Oliver Wendell Holmes

Someone who knows too much finds it hard not to lie. - Ludwig Wittgenstein

There is no sickness worse for me than words that to be kind must lie. – Aeschylus

There is no worse lie than a truth misunderstood by those who hear it. - William James

Truly, to tell lies is not honourable; but when the truth entails tremendous ruin, to speak dishonourably is pardonable. - Sophocles 

Without lies humanity would perish of despair and boredom. - Anatole France


Everyone is motivated a little or a lot to do something or nothing. Motivation is the internalized drive toward the dominant thought of the moment. By definition, motivation is motive in action. - Denis Waitley

Motivation is everything. You can do the work of two people, but you cant be two people. Instead, you have to inspire the next guy down the line and get him to inspire his people. - Lee Iacocca

Motivation is like food for the brain. You cannot get enough in one sitting. It needs continual and regular top ups. - Peter Davies

One very important aspect of motivation is the willingness to stop and to look at things that no one else has bothered to look at. This simple process of focusing on things that are normally taken for granted is a powerful source of creativity. - Edward De Bono

People who are unable to motivate themselves must be content with mediocrity, no matter how impressive their other talents. - Andrew Carnegie 

Some days it’s hard to find motivation. Some days motivation finds you. - Unknown

Friday, 29 March 2013

Quote Worthy

There are many things that go to make up an education, but there are just two things without which no man can ever hope to have an education and these two things are character and good manners. - Nicholas Butler

Forgiving does not erase the bitter past. A healed memory is not a deleted memory. Instead, forgiving what we cannot forget creates a new way to remember. - Lewis B. Smedes 

The great man does not think beforehand of his words that they may be sincere, nor of his actions that they may be resolute – he simply speaks and does what is right. - Mencius

How is it that our memory is good enough to retain the least triviality that happens to us, and yet not good enough to recollect how often we have told it to the same person? - Duc de La Rochefoucauld

Tomorrow a stranger will say with masterly good sense precisely what we have thought and felt all the time, and we shall be forced to take with shame our own opinion from another. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, 28 March 2013


A candle loses nothing if it is used to light another one. - Unknown

As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of being. - Carl Jung

At times, our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have light the flame within us. - Unknown

Be a light unto the world, a standard to others. You can live in the world and not partake of the sins of the world. You can live life joyously, beautifully, unmarred by the ugliness of sin. - Ezra Taft Benson

In the right light, at the right time, everything is extraordinary. - Aaron Rose

Keep your face toward the light, and the darkness will never be able to close in on you. - Unknown

Let nothing come between you and the light. - Henry David Thoreau

Light a candle, rather than curse the darkness. - Adlai Stevenson

Light is good from whatever lamp it shines. - Unknown

Light is the first of painters. There is no object so foul that intense light will not make it beautiful. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Once in a while you can get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right. - Jerry Garcia 

Some days you will be the light for others, and some days you will need some light from them. As long as there is light, there is hope, and there is a way. - Jennifer Gayle

Some people change their ways when they see the light, others when they feel the heat. - Unknown

Sometimes our light goes out, but is blown again into instant flame by an encounter with another human being. - Albert Schweitzer

There are two ways of spreading the light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it. - Edith Wharton

There is a light that shines beyond all things on earth, beyond the highest, the very highest heavens. This is the light that shines in your heart. - Chandogya Upanishad

To confront a person with his own shadow is to show him his own light. - Carl Jung

We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when adults are afraid of the light. - Plato

We cannot hold a torch to light anothers path without brightening our own. - Ben Sweetland

What is to give light must endure burning. - Viktor E. Frankl

Where there is much light, the shadow is deep. - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

You live through the darkness from what you learned in the light. - Hope MacDonald

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Smart Boy

Nine-year-old discusses the meaning of life and the universe.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013


The conventional definition of management is getting work done through people, but real management is developing people through work. - Agha Hasan Abedi

Sex is as important as eating or drinking and we ought to allow the one appetite to be satisfied with as little restraint or false modesty as the other. - Marquis De Sade

Serenity comes not alone by removing the outward causes and occasions of fear, but by the discovery of inward reservoirs to draw upon. - Rufus M. Jones

The attempt to silence a man is the greatest honour you can bestow on him. It means that you recognize his superiority to yourself. - Joseph Sobran

The only thing that should surprise us is that there are still some things that can surprise us. - Duc de La Rochefoucauld

Temperance is moderation in the things that are good and total abstinence from the things that are foul. - Frances E. Willard

Sometimes you have to get to know someone really well to realize youre really strangers. - Mary Tyler Moore

It is a sign of strength, not of weakness, to admit that you don't know all the answers. - John P. Lougbrane

Monday, 25 March 2013

Drawing God

A Kindergarten teacher was observing her classroom of children while they drew. She would occasionally walk around to see each child's work. As she got to one little girl who was working diligently, she asked what the drawing was?

The girl replied, "I'm drawing God."

The teacher paused and said, "But no one knows what God looks like."

Without missing a beat, or looking up from her drawing, the girl replied, "They will in a minute."

Sunday, 24 March 2013


Looking for a quote on a particular subject? I have categorized the quotes to make the search easier This 'label' - ZQuotesN - has all the quotes on subjects beginning with the Alphabet N. You might want to search the labels on the right hand side of the page too.


All nature is but art, unknown to thee; All chance, direction, which thou canst not see; All discord, harmony not understood; All partial evil, universal good; And spite of pride, in erring reasons spite, One truth is clear, Whatever is, is right. - Alexander Pope

Apprentice yourself to nature. Not a day will pass without her opening a new and wondrous world of experience to learn from and enjoy. - Richard W. Langer 

As long as I retain my feeling and my passion for Nature, I can partly soften or subdue my other passions and resist or endure those of others. - Lord Bryon

Come forth into the light of things, let Nature be your teacher. - William Wordsworth  

Everything we eat and use comes from this Earth, and so does the water that we drink or wash in or use for many other purposes. All these things that Nature provides enable us to survive and be happy and peaceful. Nature gives and gives, all the time. - Unknown

He who regards all things as one is a companion of Nature. - Chuang Tzu

Human subtlety will never devise an invention more beautiful, more simple or more direct than does Nature, because in her inventions, nothing is lacking and nothing is superfluous. - Leonardo Davinci

I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order. - John Burroughs

If not ignored, nature will cultivate in the gardener a sense of well-being and peace. The gardener may find deeper meaning in life by paying attention to the parables of the garden. Nature teaches quiet lessons to the gardener who chooses to live within the paradigm of the garden. - Norman H. Hansen

In nature there are neither rewards nor punishments – there are consequences. Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better. - Unknown

It is almost impossible systematically to constitute a natural moral law. Nature has no principles. She furnishes us with no reason to believe that human life is to be respected. Nature, in her indifference, makes no distinction between good and evil. - Anatole France

Let us permit nature to have her way. She understands her business better than we do. - Michel De Montaigne

Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better. - Albert Einstein

Nature arms each man with some faculty which enables him to do easily some feat impossible to any other. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nature cannot be tricked or cheated. She will give up to you the object of your struggles only after you have paid her price. - Napoleon Hill

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished. - Lao Tzu

Nature is not mute, it is Man that is deaf. - Terence McKenna

Nature has made us frivolous to console us for our miseries. - Unknown

Nature has painted for us, day after day, pictures of infinite beauty. - Unknown

Nature herself has never attempted to effect great changes rapidly. - Quintilian

Nature is a labyrinth in which the very haste you move with will make you lose your way. - Francis Bacon

Nature is a mutable cloud which is always and never the same. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nature is always hinting at us. It hints over and over again. And suddenly we take the hint. - Robert Frost

Nature is not human hearted. - Lao Tzu

Nature is party to all our deals and decisions, and she has a longer memory, and a sterner sense of justice than we do. - Wendell Berry

Nature is the most thrifty thing in the world; she never wastes anything; she undergoes change, but theres no annihilationthe essence remains. - Thomas Binney

Nature knows no indecencies; man invents them. - Mark Twain

Nature never did betray the heart that loved her. - William Wordsworth

Nature reacts not only to physical disease, but also to moral weakness; when the danger increases; she gives us greater courage. - Johann Von Goethe

Nature teaches more than she preaches. There are no sermons in stones. It is easier to get a spark out of a stone than a moral. - John Burroughs

Renew your inner energy and refresh your soul by simply taking a few moments each day to reflect upon the beauty and perfection of Nature’s creation. - Unknown

To explain all nature is too difficult a task for any one man or even for any one age. ‘Tis much better to do a little with certainty, and leave the rest for others that come after you, than to explain all things. - Sir Isaac Newton

Whoever has not learned to let Nature have her way is not fit for a gardener, or, for that matter, for a contented soul. - Unknown

With nature's help, humankind can set into creation all that is necessary and life sustaining. - Hildegard Von Bingen

You cannot hold back a good laugh any more than you can the tide. Both are forces of nature. - William Rotsler

You don’t have to be a scientist to learn from Nature’s marvellous creation; you only need to stop long enough to observe and let Nature reveal it’s wonders to you. - Unknown

You only need to stop long enough to observe and let Nature reveal it’s wonders to you. - Unknown

Saturday, 23 March 2013


Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves. - John Muir

Climb the mountain so you can see the world, not so the world can see you. - David McCullough Jr

Every mountain top is within reach if you just keep climbing. - Barry Finlay

If you cannot get through the mountain, go around it. If you cannot go around it, go over it. If you cannot go over it, sit down and ask yourself if getting to the other side is all that important. If it is, set about digging a tunnel. - Unknown

It is not difficult to make a mountain out of a molehill. Just add a little dirt. - Unknown

It's not the mountain we conquer but ourselves. - Edmund Hillary

Mountains are the beginning and the end of all natural scenery. - John Ruskin

Mountains cannot be surmounted except by winding paths. - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The man who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones. - William Faulkner

There are many paths to the top of the mountain, but the view is always the same. - Unknown

While most of us will not have the chance to climb the tallest mountain in the world, everyone of us has the power to reach the ‘Mount Everest’ of our life. The task is arduous, but is totally within our power to achieve. - Unknown

Friday, 22 March 2013

Quote Worthy

Keep in mind that neither success nor failure is ever final. - Roger Babson 

A correct answer is like an affectionate kiss. - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Never contend with a man who has nothing to lose. - Baltasar Gracian

To oblige persons often costs little and helps much. - Baltasar Gracian

Irony is the gaiety of reflection and the joy of wisdom. - Anatole France

Avoid the question ‘why me?’ It saves a lot of grief. - Wilhelmina Baird

A man’s venom poisons himself more than his victim. - Charles Buxton

Moving fast is not the same as going somewhere. - Dr. Robert Anthony

It’s not knowing what to do, it’s doing what you know. - Tony Robbins

The little things? The little moments? They aren't little. - John Zabat-Zinn

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Limits / Limitations

A man’s got to know his limitations. - Harry Callahan 

Do not limit yourself just because people will not accept the fact that you can do something else. Do what you want to do, when you can. - Unknown

Do what you can to help people but have the wisdom to accept your limits. - Bryant McGill

Every man takes the limits of his field of vision for the limits of the world. - Arthur Schopenhauer

Free yourself from the limitations others have placed on you and your world will transform. - Unknown 

It is not that there is no limitation to what we can do; but it is just that we have not the slightest idea where or what our limitations are! - Unknown

Limits, like fears, are often just an illusion. - Michael Jordan

Of course we all have our limits, but how can you possibly find your boundaries unless you explore as far and as wide as you possibly can? I would rather fail in an attempt at something new and uncharted than safely succeed in a repeat of something I have done. - A. E. Hotchner

Stop thinking in terms of limitations and start thinking in terms of possibilities. - Unknown

The limit is not in the sky, the limit is in the mind. - Unknown

The only real limitation on your abilities is the level of your desires. If you want it badly enough, there are no limits on what you can achieve. - Brian Tracy

The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible. - Anthony D'Angelo

There are no limitations to the mind except those we acknowledge. - Napoleon Hill

There are no limits on our future if we do not put limits on our people. - Unknown

When a man has put a limit on what he will do, he has put a limit on what he can do. - Charles M. Schwab

You have powers you never dreamed of. You can do things you never thought you could do. There are no limitations in what you can do except the limitations of your own mind. - Darwin Kingsley

Your only limitation is the only one you set up in your own mind. - Napoleon Hill

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Video Clips

Five-year-old drives this digger like a pro

The battery man

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Quote Worthy

If we attend continually and promptly to the little that we can do, we shall ere long be surprised to find how little remains that we cannot do. - Samuel Butler

You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time. - Abraham Lincoln

What seems to be generosity is often no more than disguised ambition, which overlooks a small interest in order to secure a great one. - Duc de La Rochefoucauld

Culture, the acquainting ourselves with the best that has been known and said in the world, and thus with the history of the human spirit. - Matthew Arnold 

Before the calm there is often the storm; before understanding, the doubt; and before peace, the conflict. - Wong Siew Kit

Consistency is contrary to nature, contrary to life. The only completely consistent people are dead. - Aldous Huxley

And he that will not apply new Remedies, must expect new Evils; For Time is the greatest innovator. - Francis Bacon

We are all designed for a specific purpose; we all have something for which each of us, and each of us alone, is responsible. - Naomi Stephan

Monday, 18 March 2013

Drink Up The Five Big Benefits Of Tea

Experts share the latest research on the health effects of the aromatic beverage.
Lea Wee reports

A cup of tea wakes you up in the morning, rounds off an evening meal and, well, they do not call it teatime for nothing.

Now, it has been further confirmed that tea leaves steeped in boiling water are good for health as well.

Tea is good for hydration, said Ms Wong Yuefan, a senior dietician at the National Healthcare Group Polyclinics.

It also helps keep a person’s weight under control and his mind mentally sharp.

Researchers from Singapore and overseas have also found that tea contains chemical components such as catechins that may prevent diseases.
Here are h five main health benefits of tea.

1. Hydration
Tea is a calories-free beverage which is good for hydration, said Ms Wong. She said: “It is common myth that tea acts as a diuretic and may be dehydrating because of its caffeine content.”

A cup of tea contains about 40 to 60mg of caffeine. A cup of coffee contains more- about 60 to 180 mg of caffeine.

The daily recommended caffeine intake for a healthy adult is not more than 300mg or about five cups of tea, said Ms Wong.

Research shows that this amount of caffeine does not lead to dehydration.

Caffeine has a diuretic effect only if a person takes more than 500 to 600 mg of it a day, said Ms Wong.

People who drink caffeinated beverages also typically develop a tolerance to caffeine, she said. Hence, any initial diuretic effect is diminished over time.

2. Weight management
Tea, when served without milk or sugar, contains virtually no calories, said Ms Wong

This makes tea an ideal choice for people who wish to maintain a healthy weight.

There is also some evidence that catechins, a group of flavonoids found in high quantities in green tea and, to a lesser extent, in black tea, may be useful in preventing obesity and other lifestyle-related diseases, said Ms Wong.

A 2005 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that daily consumption of tea containing a total of 690mg of catechins for 12 weeks can help to reduce body fat.

Of course, this applies only to tea which has no sugar or milk added to it.

3. Mental alertness
Studies show that black tea has a positive effect on a person’s levels of mental alertness.

The key ingredient is said to be L-theanine, an amino acid found only in tea leaves. Each cup of black tea contain 5 to 23mg of L-theanine, depending on the blend and brewing method.

Studies show that drinking two to there cups of tea increases alpha brain activity gradually over time with its effect becoming apparent after 80 minutes and lasting as long as 105 minutes.

Alpha brain waves occur when people are in a state of physical and mental relaxation, but are aware of what is happening around them.

A rise in alpha brain activity is associated with an increase in alertness.

4. Cognitive performance
A 2010 study on more than 700 Chinese adults in Singapore by the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine at the National University of Singapore found that tea(black, oolong and green tea) was associated with better cognitive performance, including memory, executive function and information processing speed.

The authors said in their paper published in the Journal of Nutrition, Health and Ageing, that this could be due to the synergistic effect of many of its chemical components, such as theanine, flavonoids (catechines) and vitamin C.

5. Cancer and Parkinson’s disease
Laboratory research has shown that catechins found in green and black tea may prevent the onset and progression of cancer.

A study of 63,000 middle aged and elderly Chinese Singaporeans in the Singapore Chinese Health Study – conducted by Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine at the National University of Singapore between 1993 and 2007 – showed that women who drink green tea daily could possibly have  a lower risk of breast cancer.

Also, men and women who drink black daily had a lower incidence of Parkinson’s disease and possibly diabetes.

Parkinson’s disease is a neuro-degenerative disorder that often leads to tremors and problems with balance, walking and coordination.

A separate team of researchers from the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine and National Neuroscience Institute later identified a component in green tea, a catechin call EGCG, that provides cellular protection against Parkinson’s disease.

The researchers, who published their findings in the Journal of Neuroscience, said their findings hold promise for the development of more effective drugs fro patients afflicted with this debilitating disorder.

Sunday, 17 March 2013


Necessity dispenseth with decorum. - Thomas Carlyle

Necessity is the mistress and guardian of Nature. - Leonardo da Vinci

Necessity is the mother of taking chances. - Mark Twain

Necessity knows no law. - Unknown

Necessity makes an honest man a knave. - Daniel Defoe

Necessity makes even the timid brave. - Sallust

Necessity never made a good bargain. - Benjamin Franklin

Necessity, the mother of invention. - George Farquhar

Nothing has more strength than dire necessity. - Euripides

Our necessities never equal our wants. - Benjamin Franklin

Saturday, 16 March 2013

The Expats Will Soon Rule Singapore!

I guess all developed countries have this problem.

The Expats Will Soon Rule Singapore!
By Adam Khoo

I have a prediction. My prediction is that in a couple of years, the expatriates (from China, India , US etc...) will rule Singapore . They will increasingly take on more leadership roles of CEOs, directors, heads of organizations, award winners etc... If you observe closely, it is already happening now. Last year's top PSLE (Primary School Leaving Exam) student is a China National. Most of the deans’ list students and first class honours students in the local universities are foreigners and more and more CEOs, even that of government link corporations are expats. The top players in our National teams are expats.

As a Singaporean, I am not complaining. I think that in a meritocratic society like Singapore, it is only fair that the very best get rewarded, no matter their race, religion or nationality. Like Lee Kwan Yew said, I rather have these talented and driven people be on our team contributing to our nation than against us from their home country. The question I have been asking is, 'why are the expats beating the crap out of Singaporeans?' What I noticed is that these expats have a very important quality that many Singaporeans (especially the new Y generation lack). It is a quality that our grandfathers and great-grandfathers (who came from distant lands) had that turned Singapore from a fishing village to the third richest country in the world (according to GDP per capita).

Unfortunately, I fear this quality is soon disappearing from the new generation of Singaporeans. This quality is the HUNGER FOR SUCCESS and the FIGHTING SPIRIT!!! Expats who come here today have the same tremendous HUNGER for success that our grandfathers had. They are willing to sacrifice, work hard and pay the price to succeed. They also believe that no one owes them a living and they have to work hard for themselves. They also bring with them the humility and willingness to learn.

Take the case of Qui Biqing, the girl from Qifa Primary school who topped the whole of Singapore in last year's PSLE with a score of 290. When she came to Singapore 3 years ago from China, she could hardly speak a word of English and didn't even understand what a thermometer was. Although she was 10 years old, MOE recommended she start at Primary 2 because of her lack of English proficiency. After appealing, she managed to start in Primary 3. While most Singaporeans have a head start of learning English at pre-school at the age of 3-4 years old, she only started at age 10.. Despite this handicap, she had the drive to read continuously and practice her speaking and writing skills, eventually scoring an A-star in English!

This hunger and drive can also be seen in the workforce. I hate to say this but in a way, I sometimes think expats create more value than locals. Expats are willing to work long hours, go the extra mile, are fiercely loyal to you and don't complain so much. They also come a lot more qualified and do not ask the moon for the remuneration. Recently, I placed an ad for a marketing executive. Out of 100+ resumes, more than 60% came from expats. While local fresh grads are asking for $2,500+ per month, I have expats with master’s degrees from good universities willing to get less than $2,000! They know that if they can come in and learn and work hard, they will eventually climb up and earn a lot more. They are willing to invest in themselves, pay the price for future rewards.

Sometimes I wonder how some of the locals are going to compete with this. Of course, this is just a generalization. There ARE definitely some Singaporeans who create lots of value and show fighting spirit. Unfortunately, I have found that more and more young Singaporeans lack this hunger for success. Instead, they like to complain, blame circumstances and wait for others to push them. Some hold on to the attitude that the world owes them a living. I shake my head when I see local kids nowadays complain that they don't have the latest hand-phones, branded clothes and games. While I acknowledge that the kids of today are much smarter and well informed than I was at their age (my 4 year old daughter can use my Macbook computer and my iphone), I find that they lack the resilience and tenacity they need to survive in the new economy. Some kids nowadays tend to give up easily once they find that things get tough and demand instant gratification. When they have to work first to get rewards later, many tend to lack the patience to follow through.

So, how did this happen? Why is our nation of hardworking, hungry fighters slowly becoming a nation of complaining softies? I think the problem is that life in Singapore has been too good and comfortable. Kids today have never seen hunger, poverty, war and disasters. What makes it worse is that parents nowadays give kids everything they want and over protect them from hardship and failure. Parents often ask me why their kids lack the motivation to study and excel. My answer to them is because they already have everything! Giving someone everything they want is the best way to kill their motivation. What reason is there for them to fight to become the best when they are already given the best from their parents without having to earn it?

It reminds me of the cartoon movie MADAGASCAR where Alex the Lion and his animal friends were born and raised in the Central Park Zoo. They were well taken care of and provided with processed food and an artificial jungle. When they escaped to Africa, they found that they could barely survive in the wild with the other animals because they had lost their instincts to fight and hunt for food. They could only dance and sing. I see the same thing in the hundreds of seminars and training programmes I conduct. I see increasing more and more expats attending my Wealth Academy and Patterns of Excellence programme in Singapore. Not surprisingly, they are always the first to grab the microphone to answer and ask questions.

While many of the locals come in late and sit at the back, the expats (especially those from India and China) always sit at the front, take notes ferociously and stay back way after the programme is over to ask questions. I feel ashamed sometimes when I ask for volunteers to ask questions, and the Singaporeans keep quiet, while the foreigners fight for the opportunity. For my "I Am Gifted!' programme for students, I have the privilege to travel & conduct it in seven countries ( Singapore , Indonesia , Hong Kong , China , Malaysia etc...) and see students from all over. Is there a big difference in their attitude and behaviour? You bet! Again, I feel really sad that in Singapore, most students who come are usually forced by their parents to come and improve themselves, Some parents even bribe them with computer games and new hand-phones to attend. During the course, some adopt the 'I know everything' attitude and lack the interest to succeed until I kick their butts.

It is so different when I go to Malaysia, Indonesia and once in India. The kids there ask their parents to send them to my programme They clap and cheer enthusiastically when the teachers enter the room and participate so willingly when lessons are on. I still scratch my head and wonder what happened to my fellow Singaporeans to this day. So mark my words, unless the new generation of Singaporeans wake up and get out of their happy over protected bubble and start fighting for their future, the expats (like our great grandfathers) will soon be the rulers of the country. At the rate at which talented and hungry expats are climbing up, our future prime minister may be an Indian or China PR or may even be an Ang Moh!

Friday, 15 March 2013

Quote Worthy

Personal importance or taking things personally, is the maximum expression of selfishness because we make the assumption that everything is about ‘me’. - Don Miguel Ruiz

It is only imperfection that complains of what is imperfect. The more perfect we are, the more gentle and quiet we become towards the defects of others. - Joseph Addison

Books are the building blocks of civilization and a people without books are a people without history, a people with no story older than the tales of the oldest man or woman. - Louis L'Amour

The best of a book is not the thought which it contains, but the thought which it suggests; just as the charm of music dwells not in the tones but in the echoes of our hearts. - Oliver Wendell Holmes

Psychologists have found that music does things to you whether you like it or not. Fast tempos invariably raise your pulse, respiration, and blood pressure; slow music lowers them. - Doron K. Antrim

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Listen / Listening

A good listener is not only popular everywhere, but after a while he gets to know something. - Wilson Mizner

A good listener tries to understand thoroughly what the other person is saying. In the end he may disagree sharply, but before he disagrees, he wants to know exactly what it is he is disagreeing with. - Kenneth A. Wells

A good listener truly wants to know the speaker. - John Powell

A man is already halfway in love with any woman who listens to him. - Brendan Francis

Be a good listener. It is only when one listens that one gets and learns ideas different from one’s own. - Unknown

Be eager to listen to others rather than display our own learning. - Unknown

Be quick to listen to what others have to say, but be slow to respond with your own opinion. - Unknown

Deep listening is miraculous for both listener and speaker. When someone receives us with open-hearted, non-judging, intensely interested listening, our spirits expand. - Sue Patton Thoele

Deep listening is the kind of listening that can help relieve the suffering of another person. You can call it compassionate listening. You listen with only one purpose: to help him or her to empty his heart. Even if he says things that are full of wrong perceptions, full of bitterness, you are still capable of continuing to listen with compassion. Because you know that listening like that, you give that person a chance to suffer less. If you want to help him to correct his perception, you wait for another time. For now, you don’t interrupt. You don’t argue. If you do, he loses his chance. You just listen with compassion and help him to suffer less. One hour like that can bring transformation and healing. - Thich Nhat Hanh

Do not just listen to what someone is saying. Listen to why they are saying it. - Unknown

Don’t listen to people who tell you what to do. Listen to people who encourage you to do what you know in your heart is right. - Unknown

Give every man thy ear but few thy voice. - Unknown

I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen. - Ernest Hemingway

If people listened to themselves more often, theyd talk less. - Unknown

If you cant get people to listen to you any other way, tell them its confidential. - Unknown

If you spend more time asking appropriate questions rather than giving answers or opinions, your listening skills will increase. - Unknown

If you want to be listened to, you should put in time listening. - Unknown

It takes a great man to be a good listener. - Calvin Coolidge

Know how to listen, and you will profit even from those who talk badly. - Plutarch

Listen or thy tongue will keep thee deaf. - American Indian Proverb

Listen to what you know instead of what you fear. - Richard Bach

Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force. The friends who listen to us are the ones we move toward. When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand. - Karl A. Menninger

Listening is a rare happening among human beings; you cannot listen to the word another is speaking if you are preoccupied with your appearance or with impressing the other, or are trying to decide what you are going to say when the other stops talking, or are debating about whether what is being said is true or relevant or agreeable. Such matters have their place, but only after listening to the word as the word is being uttered. - Unknown

Listening is an attitude of the heart, a genuine desire to be with another which both attracts and heals. - J. Isham

Listening is such a simple act. It requires us to be present, and that takes practice, but we don’t have to do anything else. We don’t have to advise, or coach, or sound wise. We just have to be willing to sit there and listen. - Unknown

Listening to both sides of a story will convince you that there is more to a story than both sides. - Frank Tyger

Most people do not listen with the intent to understand. They listen with the intent to reply. - Stephen R Covey

No one really listens to anyone else. Try it for a while, and youll see why. - Mignon McLaughlin

One who cares is one who listens. - J. Richard Clarke

People will feel safer around you and speak truthfully to you when they feel you are listening intently to them. - Unknown

Really listening to others is an art – one that we must be continually cultivating. So many of us are working so hard at making ourselves heard, that we forget that the better half of communicating is listening. - Leo Buscaglia

Showing people that you sincerely care about them can often be as easy as listening to them. - Unknown

Skilful listening is the best remedy for loneliness, loquaciousness and laryngitis. - Unknown

Sometimes it is a great joy just to listen to someone we love talking. - Vincent McNabb

Spend time every day listening to what your muse is trying to tell you. - Unknown

The best listener is someone who puts himself in the other person’s shoes. - Unknown

There is a basic truth in everyone we meet. Look closely and listen well, and the true meaning of a fellowman will be revealed. - George Petavine

Those who care about you can hear you even when you’re quiet. - Steve Maraboli

To listen – first shut up! - Sterling G. Ellsworth

We never listen when we are eager to speak. - Luise von Francois

When you listen to someone, you should give up all your preconceived ideas and your subjective opinions, you should just listen to him; just observe what his way is. We put very little emphasis on right and wrong or good and bad. We just see things as they are with him and accept them. This is how we communicate with each other. - Unknown

When you say something to someone, he may not accept it, but do not try to make him understand it intellectually. Do not argue with him. Just listen to his objections until he himself finds something wrong with them. Unknown

While the right to talk may be the beginning of freedom, the necessity of listening is what makes the right important. - Unknown