THINGS I’VE LEARNT THAT MADE ME WHO I AM
40 LEARNINGS AT 40
DON’T BE AFRAID
JESUS IS IN YOUR HEART
As a kid I was afraid to go to the kitchen at
night in the dark and my Mom’s advise
made me fearless in many ways.
YOUR EYES IS BIG
BUT YOUR STOMACH IS SMALL
We should never over order food. But this
simple philosophy have been applied to all
aspects of my life including greed and
My tutor Mrs Pandian is wise. She knew I
don’t get angry easily kept things in my
heart. She caringly advised me not to
explode like a volcano when I eventually
can’t keep it in anymore if not many people
will get hurt.
FILL THE PAPER AND
DON’T STOP DRAWING
I could never draw better then Greg and my
friends in school and felt discouraged and
kept crushing the doodles I did. He advised
me to keep drawing and complete it. It was
not only logical, it thought me
TURN THE OTHER CHEEK
It is ok to be wronged. Like the bible said,
turn the other cheek.
JUST PASS CAN ALREADY
Dad never insisted on academic
performance and was stingy with toys, but
generous with anything that have got to do
KNOW THE VICES
Our beloved late Uncle Kai was like my
older brother, he helped me overcome my
curiosities when growing up and offered me
my first drink and ciggy in the safe family
BETTER TO GIVE
THAN TO RECEIVE
My Dad got me a super cool digital
calculator watch at the airport when we
were going to Australia when I was 10, but
then later gave it away to his friend’s child.
I was confused, but that changed my
perception of giving and receiving.
JUST WANT TO USE YOU
I’m idealistic, but my wise sister told me
GRADUATES WITH HIGH SCORES
CAN TAKE INSTRUCTIONS
SO CAN WORK FOR THE AH BENGS
Street smarts are equally or even more
important then book smarts.
KNOW THE NICE RESTAURANTS
BECAUSE YOU NEED TO BRING
Although now we have apps to find good
restaurants, there is no app that can make
you be more hospitable and be a good host.
PEOPLE JUDGE YOU
FOR HOW YOU LOOK
I had my first undercut in my teens in the
mid 90s and tied a pony tail, my Dad
promptly told me about the realities of how
people are judged by their looks.
CHOOSE WHAT YOU WANT TO DO
IF NOT PEOPLE WILL TELL YOU
WHAT TO DO
Dad is an inquisitive and passionate
adventurer and hoped I get to do what I
liked to do. I’ve hardly asked people what I
should do. With this perspective, there are
simply too many things I want to do.
BETTER TO GIVE SALARY
THAN TO TAKE SALARY
With this non-employee mentality, I learnt
ownership and applied it to all that I do.
YOU DON'T JUST TAKE CARE
OF YOUR STAFF
BUT THEIR FAMILIES TOO
It’s not only about dollars and cents. People
are people and people have families and
things they care about.
DO THE DIFFICULT THINGS
BECAUSE OTHERS PREFER TO DO
THE SIMPLE THINGS
Don’t be intimidated or scared to the take
the road less travelled.
LEARN THE BAD THINGS
YOU NEED TO KNOW THEM
Dad had a book called ”The Black Heart
Way” which showed the schemes people
have to gain an advantage for themselves.
So don’t be stupid and be taken for a ride.
DO WHAT YOU ARE GOOD AT OR
DO WHAT YOU LIKE
Do what you are good at because it will be
easy or do what you like because you will
enjoy it even if it is tough. If you are doing
something which is both, you are lucky. But
first, you need to know yourself.
THE MONEY WILL COME
Don’t focus on the money when working,
focus on the things you can learn, that is
where the real value is and no one can take
it away from you. Work hard and the money
will eventually come.
IT’S BLESSED TO BE LOVED
The opposite is true. It is quite an ordeal to
love someone. But this is something my
Mom also told my very independent
DON’T SULK AND ENJOY YOURSELF
SINCE YOU ARE ALREADY HERE
I used to fold my arms and put on a black
face when I’m with company I did not quite
feel comfortable with, but my wife taught
me how to be happy and make the most of
THERE IS NO BONDING
Men and Women are two different species
and its not possible to be aligned on
everything. We fight. Couples fight. The
outcome should be a stronger bond
between the two.
BE FAIR TO ALL
My Father-In-Law have 3 children and he
always makes a point to be fair to all of
them and never show favouritism.
FATHER IN LAW
IS WHAT YOU WANT TO SAY
My Dad speaks a lot and too fast
sometimes with his passion, but my Mom
always gave him feedback. I’m blessed to
have worked with them for 3 years to
experience this part of them. If there is no
purpose in saying something, then it is
better to keep quiet.
DON’T OVER ESTIMATE YOURSELF
KNOW YOUR TRUE VALUE
I asked My Dad’s business friend Mr Tan for
some general advise and he said go for 3
interviews every year to know your value.
You could be thinking too highly of yourself.
MR TAN FROM HEMSLEY
IT’S OK TO BE AN INTROVERT
BUT BETTER IF YOU CAN
SOCIALIZE WHEN NEEDED
I’m honestly an introvert. It is this advise
from my wife that made me able to mingle
with people I don’t normally can or naturally
want to. A very valuable professional life
I always thought there is one best way to
work with people, but apparently not so as
it really depends on who you are working
with. Different follower maturity need
different leadership styles.
SHIT GRAVITATES TOWARDS
If you are good and can solve problems, you
will be called upon especially during crisis.
It is only logical. This allows you to stretch
and also bring real value.
EVERY NEGATIVE THING CAN BE
SAID IN A POSITIVE WAY
Everyone like to hear nice things, so its
always better to say things positively
especially on emails which lack emotions.
EXPERIENCE AND VALUE COUNTS
NOT JUST HARD WORK
The hardest working person not necessary
gets paid the most. Experience and Value
they bring to the organisation is even more
KNOW THE PROPER WAY
One late evening at a hotel lobby in
Shanghai, we had some drinks and chatted
about being professionals in what we do.
Although intuition and creative thinking is
good, there are also recognised time tested
proper ways of doing things.
DON'T LET PEOPLE
PUSH YOU AROUND
No matter how adaptable and collaborative
we are, sometimes we just need to stand
our ground for what we believe is the right
thing to do and not let people push us
HOW CAN WE STILL
MAKE THIS FUN?
Organisations all face challenges, and what
is important is to make sure we still have
fun while facing these challenges.
VERTICAL LINES ARE VERTICAL
Our dear late Jeremy San takes
architectural photos and his simple tip of
keeping vertical lines vertical made all the
difference in photos I took.
KIDS WON'T STARVE
I used to be very anxious about our kids not
eating properly, but honestly in Singapore,
kids won’t starve.
MOTHER IN LAW
LIVE LIFE WITH STYLE
If we are going to live life, lets do it with
style and enjoy the process.
FRIEND DESMOND KHOH
REALLY LOVE PEOPLE
Words are cheap and to really love people
is by doing what needs to be done and
going out of your comfort zone for the
people you say you love.
FRIEND DESMOND KHOH
Work and Life can be stressful, so learn to
also enjoy life. My wife taught me how to
enjoy shopping, massage, beef, wine. Now
life is great.
THE DIFFICULT TIMES KIDS GO
THRU IS NO LESS THAN ADULTS
Seeing our kids go thru their type of stress
makes me realise that it is no less then the
stress adults face.
DON'T WASTE TIME FEELING SAD
Cleo likes colourful things and being happy,
so she don’t understand why people want
to spend time being sad.