Happy Deepavali

HAPPY DEEPAVALI 

 

May the Festival of Lights illuminate your life with good health, hope, and happiness!

 

 

TRP Series Story 9 : CHOOSE A LIFE OF STRENGTH

CHOOSE A LIFE OF STRENGTH

 

Sean Stephenson (1979 – 2019) was an American therapist, self-help author, and motivational speaker.

He was only three feet (0.91m) tall and was wheelchair bound as he had osteogenesis imperfecta (brittle bone disease), a genetic condition that causes bones to break easily.

After he was born, the doctors told his parents that he would be dead within the first 24 hours of his life. But Stephenson defied all predictions and lived till he was 40.

While Stephenson did not get the same advantages in life as many did, he did not pity himself and he did not think of himself as being disabled.

Though he looked small and weak, he chose to live large and to live strong by actively practising positive life principles such as the following:

Tip #1: Never believe a prediction that does not empower you

According to Stephenson, if you believe in a prediction that does not empower you, you will “wither away and die” – you will “either physically die or your spirit will die”.

Tip #2: Be the best version of yourself

No one can be you. So be the best “you” that you can be.

Tip #3: Pity is the worst drug ever

As shared by Stephenson: “The moment you pity someone or the moment you feel sorry for yourself…you are totally, completely frozen in potential”.

Tip #4: You are not your condition – believe that you bring value to the human race

Even though he was wheelchair bound, Stephenson did not think that he was disabled as he believed that “the only disability is one’s refusal to adapt”.

We need to adapt to whatever environment we are in, and believe that we bring value to the human race, no matter what your current condition, title, or stature is.

Tip #5: You are enough – love yourself

When we are insecure and feel like we are not enough, we do stupid things and “chase external validation and external objects to try to tell us that we are enough”.

You cannot afford to pity yourself or bully yourself – you have to love yourself.

Tip #6: The real prison is your mind – master your emotions to free yourself

When you are stuck in your mind – bullying or pitying yourself you suffer.

When we love ourselves and master our emotions, then and only then, are we free.

 Tip #7: You have the ability to choose what you focus on

 Are you choosing to think of your challenges are burdens or as opportunities to grow?

Purpose does not make the pain go away but it “gives you the fuel to go through the dark days”.

Perspective #9

 We can choose what we focus on.

We can choose to live a life of strength and purpose.

We choose.

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Written By:  Joanne H Lim

(Co-Author of “Winning with Honour” and “The Leader, The Teacher & You“, and Author of “Meme the Monkey Wins in Life”)

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Video Link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=VaRO5-V1uK0

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To read the other stories in “The Right Perspective Series”, please visit: www.TheRightPerspective.com.sg/blog/

For more information, please visit: www.TheRightPerspective.com.sg

TRP Series Story 8 : Bad Memories

RETHINKING BAD MEMORIES 

The Right Perspective Series l Story 8

 

 

We all have bad memories.

Bad memories that cause us hurt and pain.

Bad memories that engender regret and remorse.

Bad memories that conjure up anger and hate.

The more we try to forget, the more we remember

While we often try our best to forget these bad memories, we often find that the more we try to forget, the more we relive the pain, hurt, and regret.

We then fall into a vicious cycle of frustration, hopelessness, and despair.

Embrace, not forget

So instead of trying to forget, perhaps we should embrace and accept these bad memories instead. This concept was beautifully expressed in this fairy tale from the hit Korean drama, “It’s Okay to Not Be Okay”.

The boy woke up from another awful nightmare.

 Bad memories from that past that he wanted to forget were replayed on his dreams every night and haunted him nonstop.

He was terrified of falling asleep, so one day, he went to the witch and begged:

 “Please get rid of all my bad memories, so that I won’t ever have a nightmare again.

Then, I will do everything you ask.”

Years went by, and the boy became an adult.

 He no longer had nightmares but for some strange reasons, he wasn’t happy at all.

One night, a blood moon filled the sky and the witch finally showed up again to take what he had promised in return for granting his wish.

 And he shouted at her with so much resentment: 

“All my bad memories are gone but why can’t I become happy?”

Then the witch took his soul as they had promised and told him this:

 “Hurtful, painful memories.

 Memories of deep regrets.

 Memories of hurting others and being hurt.

 Memories of being abandoned.

 Only those with such memories buried in their hearts can become

stronger, more passionate, and emotionally flexible.

 And only those can attain happiness.”

 

 Remember and Overcome

 The story concludes with an important lesson that all of us should learn:

 

 “So don’t forget any of it.

Remember it all and overcome it.

 If you don’t overcome it, you will always be a kid whose soul never grows.”

 

So, instead of trying to forget bad memories and experiences, let us embrace them so that our our souls will grow and be refined.

Perspective #8

Instead of trying to forget bad memories and experiences, embrace them. 

Bad memories can lead us to happiness if we respond in a positive way such that these bad memories help us become stronger, more passionate, and emotionally flexible.

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Written By:  Joanne H Lim

(Co-Author of “Winning with Honour” and “The Leader, The Teacher & You“, and Author of “Meme the Monkey Wins in Life”)

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Video Link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=rpwd8R8-G-Y

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To read the other stories in “The Right Perspective Series”, please visit: www.TheRightPerspective.com.sg/blog/

For more information, please visit: www.TheRightPerspective.com.sg

TRP Series Story 7 : Rethinking Youth

A PERSPECTIVE ON YOUTH 

The Right Perspective Series l Story 7

 

Mr Konosuke Matsushita (1894-1989) is a highly respected business leader who founded Panasonic, the largest Japanese consumer electronics company.

Most Important Lesson from Mr Matsushita’s Life

In his book “Matsushita Leadership” (The Free Press, 1997), Mr John P. Kotter described the life, struggles, accomplishments, and legacy of Mr Matsushita.

Mr Kotter concludes that if there is any single lesson from Mr Matsushita’s life that would be particularly applicable and important in the future it would be this: do not assume that we cannot continue to develop, and develop greatly, as we age. 

Yes, it is true that most people become more closed to new ideas as they become older.  Success often creates arrogance and complacency. Failure often undermines one’s willingness to take risks. But there is nothing biologically determinant about these tendencies.

Mr Matsushita’s Perspective on Youth

As Mr Matsushita once said:

It’s not age that determines youthfulness,

but rather an attitude or way of thinking that keeps you constantly in search of something new in your daily life or job.

It’s those attributes that make you young.

Even if you are 100 years old, the essence of youth won’t be lost as long as you keep seeking out something new.”

Mr Matsushita’s Favorite Poem

Mr Matsushita’s favourite poem, “Youth” by Mr Samuel Ullman (1840-1924), says it all:

Youth is not a time of life;

it is a state of mind;

it is not a matter of rosy cheeks, red lips and supple knees;

it is a matter of the will, a quality of the imagination, a vigour of the emotions;

it is the freshness of the deep springs of life.

Youth means a temperamental predominance of courage over timidity,

of the appetite for adventure over the love of ease.

This often exists in a man of sixty more than a boy of twenty.

Nobody grows old merely by a number of years.

We grow old by deserting our ideals.

Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.

Worry, fear, self-distrust bows the heart and turns the spirit back to dust.

Whether sixty or sixteen, there is in every human being’s heart

the lure of wonder,

the unfailing child-like appetite of what’s next, and

the joy of the game of living.

In the center of your heart and my heart there is a wireless station;

so long as it receives messages of beauty, hope, cheer, courage and power

from men and from the infinite,

so long are you young.

When the aerials are down, and your spirit is covered with snows of cynicism and the ice of pessimism,

then you are grown old, even at twenty,

but as long as your aerials are up, to catch the waves of optimism,

there is hope you may die young at eighty.

Perspective #7

Youth is not a time of life – it is a state of mind.

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Written By:  Lim Siong Guan and Joanne H Lim (Co-Authors of “Winning with Honour” and “The Leader, The Teacher & You“)

To read the other stories in “The Right Perspective Series”, please visit: www.TheRightPerspective.com.sg/blog/

For more information, please visit: www.TheRightPerspective.com.sg

TRP Series Story 6 : Suffering

A PERSPECTIVE ON SUFFERING 

The Right Perspective Series l Story 6

 

 

Suffering has always been a part of life, but it has been brought to the forefront of our minds this year due to the Covid-19 health pandemic and the related economic fallout, as well as devastating natural disasters all around the world.

To be able to live with purpose and hope in the midst of suffering, it is important that we view suffering with the right perspective.

One of the most insightful and inspiring perspective on suffering that I have come across was shared by Dr Inamori Kazuo, the highly successful businessman who founded what is now Kyocera Corporation and what is now KDDI, Japan’s second largest telecommunications network, before becoming a monk.

Purpose of Life

According to Dr Inamori, the purpose of life is to “elevate our minds and refine our souls”.

In this temporal world, “no matter how much we accumulate, we cannot take any of it with us when we die…the only thing that does not perish is the soul”.

Hence, one must aim to “die with a soul that is nobler and purer” than the soul one was born with by “living with complete sincerity” and persistently striving to “make each day better than the one before”.

Perspective on Suffering

With this perspective in mind, Dr Inamori had this to say about suffering:

“Granted, there seems to be more pain than pleasure in living.

At times we may wonder why we have to suffer so much, and we may come to resent God or the Buddha.

But it is precisely because we live in a world of suffering that we can benefit from viewing pain as a test that develops the soul.”

Perspective #6

By viewing suffering as “the ultimate opportunity to hone our true nature” and by choosing to think of trials/ tests as opportunities, we can make the most out of our limited time on earth.

As Dr Inamori said: “Life is the time given to us to refine our minds and to cultivate our souls, and it is in the process of living that we will find meaning and value in our lives”.

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About Dr Kazuo Inamori

Dr Kazuo Inamori established Kyoto Ceramic Co., Ltd. (now Kyocera Corporation) in April 1959, and he later founded what is now KDDI, which is Japan’s second largest telecommunications network. He is also highly respected for coming out of retirement to pull Japan Airlines out of bankruptcy and successfully listing it on the stock exchange – all within three years and with Dr Inamori not earning a single cent.

You can find out more about Dr Inamori in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CuRqY81Nric&t=158s

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Written By:  Joanne H Lim (Co-Author of “Winning with Honour” and “The Leader, The Teacher & You“, and Author of  “Meme the Monkey Wins in Life”)

For more information, please visit: www.TheRightPerspective.com.sg

 

 

TRP Series Story 5 : Fatal Failures

All fatal failures are the result of one or all of the following:

  • Failure to learn from the past
  • Failure to adapt to the present
  • Failure to anticipate the future

Look at the history of nations and companies. Study wars and battles, crises and bankruptcies. Isn’t it so?

Failure to Learn from the Past

The failure to learn from the past is often avoidable if we are either humble enough to acknowledge and learn from our past mistakes, or we are smart enough to learn from the mistakes of others.

It is often course best to learn from others’ mistakes, but we often only learn our lesson after we have made the same mistakes themselves.

Failure to Adapt to the Present

A failure to adapt to the present is often also avoidable if we recognise that change is the only constant – situations change, the desires and perspectives of people change, the possibilities of technology change, the demands of the market change, etc.

We can only adapt to the present if we are humble enough to accept that what we are currently doing might no longer be the best practice or policy for today – we need to constantly evaluate, evolve, and adapt to keep up with the times.

Failure to Anticipate the Future

The most common type of failure is the failure to anticipate the future.

Anticipating the future requires the discipline of first envisaging the future, and then working at what needs to be done today in order to be prepared for tomorrow.

Boldness in thought and action does not come from a stirring in the heart or mind – it comes from being clear about where we need to be and what we need to do to get to where we want to be.

To be in time for the future is a continuous challenge of anticipating the future and positioning ourselves and/ or our organisation for it.

A failure to anticipate the future is ultimately a failure of leadership to prepare for survival and sustainable success.

Perspective #5:

Success today does not guarantee success tomorrow. No one likes the idea of failing, but we all need to be conscious of the possibility of failing.

As Benjamin Franklin, one of the founding fathers of the United States, famously said: “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

We need to learn from the past and adapt to the present in order to anticipate and prepare for the future.

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Reference: Page 151, “The Leader, The Teacher and You

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By: Lim Siong Guan & Joanne Lim (Co-Authors of “Winning with Honour” and “The Leader, The Teacher & You“)

For more information, please visit: www.TheRightPerspective.com.sg

 

 

 

TRP Series Story 4 : Teach the Young to Cope with Failure + Always Choose to be Socially Responsible

TEACH THE YOUNG TO COPE WITH FAILURE

 + ALWAYS CHOOSE TO BE SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE

 

The Right Perspective Series l Story 4

 

 

We have a friend in Israel who retired from his lifetime career and discovered, like so many others, that retiring means to “get new tires (tyres) and run again”.

After retiring, he decided to set up robotics clubs in schools.

Robotics clubs, of course, are not a new idea. But this friend’s venture is different in two very important ways.

  1. Social Responsibility Comes First

First, even before the students start building robots, he teaches them social responsibility. In other words, as they build the robots, they have to be able to answer the question: “How is what you are doing socially responsible and good for society?” The minimum standard set is that what they are doing is not socially irresponsible or bad for society.

It is interesting and impressive that the first thing students learn in this friend’s robotics club is that they need to be socially responsible.

  1. Teach the Young How to Cope with Failure

Second, he teaches them how to cope with failure. So many students in robotics clubs clamour to take part in international competitions, but how many winners can there be? Not winning in a competition happens far more often than winning.

We hear a lot about how innovation and enterprise always require a measure of risk-taking and a positive perspective on failing.  But how many schools are making a conscious effort to teach their students how to cope with failure?

No one starts something new with the idea of failing, but everyone needs to be conscious of the possibility of failing.

Perspective #4:

In life, we will fail to achieve our desired outcomes from time to time, or maybe, most of the time. Everyone needs to have a deliberate perspective on how to cope with failure, so that one can have the strength to move forward and the determination to do the right thing by always choosing to be socially responsible.

As Winston Churchill once said: “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”

And it is the courage to always choose to do the right and socially responsible thing that will enable you to positively impact the lives around you.

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By: Lim Siong Guan & Joanne Lim (Co-Authors of “Winning with Honour” and “The Leader, The Teacher & You“)

For more information, please visit: www.TheRightPerspective.com.sg

 

TRP Series Story 3 : The True Meaning of the Black Belt

THE TRUE MEANING OF THE BLACK BELT

The Right Perspective Series l Story 3

 

After many years of hard training, a martial arts student finally knelt before his sensei (or “teacher” or “master” in Japanese) to receive his black belt.

“Before giving you the black belt, you must pass one more test,” the sensei said.

“I am ready,” the student replied confidently.

The sensei asked: “What is the true meaning of the black belt?”

“The end of my journey,” the student said. “A good reward for all my hard work.”

The sensei was not satisfied and waited for more. Finally, the sensei spoke: “You are not ready for the black belt. Return in one year.”

A year later, the student knelt again in front of the sensei.

“What is the true meaning of the black belt?” the sensei asked again.

“A symbol of distinction and the highest achievement in our art,” the student replied.

The sensei said nothing for many minutes. Clearly, he was not satisfied again. He finally spoke: “You are still not ready for the black belt. Return in one year.”

A year later, the student knelt once again in front of the sensei. And again the sensei asked the same question: “What is the true meaning of the black belt?”

“The black belt represents the beginning — the start of a never-ending journey of discipline, hard work and the pursuit of an ever higher standard,” the student replied.

The sensei smiled and said: “You are finally ready to receive the black belt and begin your work.”

As we can see, the attainment of the black belt marks a point, but it is not the highest point. The black belt merely enables us to move on to the next point.

 You may think: “This is terrible. The hardwork never ends!”

Yes, the more we learn, the more we know, and the more we attain……and the more we attain, the more we are expected to contribute to the good of others.

This is why we need to believe in what we do.

We need to believe it is worth doing.

We need to believe we are doing something useful.

We need to find our work interesting and challenging.

We need to have fun along the way.

We need to be dissatisfied with ourselves if we have not done our best.

We need to learn new things and get better day by day.

Otherwise life will be a big burden and work will be a dread.

Perspective #3:

Excellence is a never-ending journey.  It is our attitude that will make the journey either fun or burdensome.

 So, believe in yourself. Be the best you can be. Do the best you can.

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By: Lim Siong Guan & Joanne Lim (Co-Authors of “Winning with Honour” and “The Leader, The Teacher & You“)

For more information, please visit: www.TheRightPerspective.com.sg

 

 

 

TRP Series Story 2 : What Would My Loved Ones Think?

WHAT WOULD MY LOVED ONES THINK?

The Right Perspective Series:  Story 2

 

 

This is the story of winning with honour in a cross-country race on 2 December 2012 at Burlada.

Burlada is a municipality in Navarre Province, on the outskirts of the famous city of Pamplon, which stages the annual “Running of the Bulls” festival.

Leading the race was Abel Mutai of Kenya. Abel was a long-distance runner who specialised in the 3000 metres steeplechase – he had won the bronze medal at the 2012 London Summer Olympics.

During this cross-country race, Spanish athlete Iván Fernández was running second, some distance behind Abel.

Abel had mistakenly thought he had reached the end of the race when he was about 10 metres from the actual finish line. People were telling him to keep going, but he did not understand what they were saying as he did not know Spanish.

Iván could have taken advantage of the situation to overtake Abel and win the race…but he chose not to! Instead, Iván slowed down and guided Abel to the actual finish line.

A journalist asked Iván why he did not take the opportunity to win. He replied: “I didn’t deserve to win it. I did what I had to do. He was the rightful winner. He created a gap that I couldn’t have closed if he hadn’t made a mistake. As soon as I saw he was stopping, I knew I wasn’t going to pass him.”

Iván went on to say: “I didn’t let him win. He was going to win. What would be the merit of my victory? What would be the honour of that medal? What would my Mom think of that?”

May you choose to live a life of honour and integrity by always choosing to do the right thing and not take unfair advantage of others.

And if you have children, may you choose to teach your children the right moral values that will guide them to make upright choices – this will enable them to live a meaningful life with honour and dignity.

Perspective #2:

When you are in a moral dilemma, ask yourself: “Would I be proud to share what I am thinking of doing with the person I respect the most?” 

You could also yourself: “If what I am thinking of doing is going to the top trending news item on the internet tomorrow, would my loved ones be proud of me or will they be ashamed of me?

By: Lim Siong Guan & Joanne Lim (Co-Authors of “Winning with Honour” and “The Leader, The Teacher & You“)

For more information, please visit: www.TheRightPerspective.com.sg