Honour Others for a Satisfied Life

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The Straits Times published an article today on how 150,000 Thais gathered outside Bangkok’s Grand Palace yesterday to sing the royal anthem, alongside a 100-piece orchestra and professional choir, to show their devotion to the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who passed away on 13 October after a 70 year reign. You can read the article here and view a video by Reuters here.

Throughout his long reign, King Bhumibol worked tirelessly to increase the well-being of the Thai people, and by doing so, he earned not only the respect, but also the love of his people. You can read more about why the Thai King was so beloved by his people in this Channel NewsAsia article and video here.

Since his passing on 13 October, there have been so many interviews with Thai who mentioned that they love their King. In this Straits Times article published on 13 October, Ms Darunee Thitchan, a Thai national who was in Singapore on the day the King’s death was announced shared: “I loved him so much; he was like a father to me.”

This outpouring of grief and expression of love for the late King Bhumibol reflects that his life was a purposeful life, lived with love and concern for others.

Death is a fate that all human beings shared. But the lives that are lived between birth and death are very different, and the reactions of those around the deceased regarding their passing are also very different. 

So, what makes a satisfied and impactful life?

As shared on page 11-17 of Winning with Honour, research has shown that to live a satisfied life, we need to value love above everything else. Research also shows that the need for Transcendence—that is, helping others reach their personal growth and self-fulfilment—is ranked as the highest of all needs in the human psyche.

Hence, the highest need we all have is to move beyond just thinking of ourselves to contributing to the lives of others by doing good for their lives.

To put it simply, if we want to live satisfied lives, we have to remember that it is not about ourselves, but about others.

And in order to honour others, we need to dedicate ourselves to practise “eulogy virtues” on a daily basis, as described by David Brooks, writer and commentator in the New York Times, in his book, “The Road to Character” (Random House 2015) and on page 425 of Winning with Honour:

“Recently I’ve been thinking about the difference between the résumé virtues and the eulogy virtues. The résumé virtues are the ones you list on your résumé, the skills that you bring to the job market and that contribute to external success. 

The eulogy virtues are deeper. They’re the virtues that get talked about at your funeral, the ones that exist at the core of your being—whether you are kind, brave, honest or faithful; what kind of relationships you formed. 

“Most of us would say that the eulogy virtues are more important than the résumé virtues, but I confess that for long stretches of my life I’ve spent more time thinking about the latter than the former. 

Our education system [referring to the American education system] is certainly oriented around the résumé virtues more than the eulogy ones. Public conversation is, too—the self-help tips in magazines, the nonfiction bestsellers. Most of us have clearer strategies for how to achieve career success than we do for how to develop a profound character.”

If you want to live a satisfied and impactful life, honour your life today by loving others and thinking about others…it is only in your best interest to do so, as reflected by the life and passing of the late Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej.


Photo credit: Straits Times

P.S. If you liked reading Winning with Honour, please vote for Winning with Honour in Popular Bookstore’s Readers’ Choice Award by 31 October 2016 and stand a chance to win for yourself a $50 Popular voucher and a 1 year Popular Bookstore membership. You can submit your vote here

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Joanne H. LIM is the Founder and Creative Director of The Right Perspective (www.TheRightPerspective.com.sg), a consultancy specializing in writing, branding, presentations, strategic communications, and collateral design for individuals, businesses, and institutions. The Right Perspective works closely with its clients to enable their success by creating the right perspective in the minds of their stakeholders through sharp strategy, measured messaging, innovative initiatives, and detailed design.

Following high school, where she authored her school’s creed, “Live with Passion, Serve with Compassion,” Joanne was awarded a full scholarship to pursue an undergraduate degree at Princeton University, from which she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from the Woodrow Wilson School of International and Public Policy, and a certificate in East Asian Studies. During her time at Princeton, Joanne was awarded the President’s Prize and was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa Society for outstanding academic excellence.

After graduating from Princeton, Joanne worked at PSA International Pte Ltd (PSA), one of the world’s leading port operators, for six years. At PSA, Joanne worked closely with Senior Management on strategic projects, and honed her skills in external and internal communications, branding, strategic events management, as well as collateral design and production.

Following PSA, Joanne was awarded a merit scholarship to pursue a Masters in Wealth Management at the Singapore Management University, where she graduated among the top five of her class and was awarded the Portcullis Wealth Management Prize. After attaining her Masters, Joanne worked at Goldman Sachs and UBS AG, before joining the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB).

At EDB, Joanne worked extensively with leading companies in the areas of luxury fashion, luxury watches, fashion accessories, furniture, and toys. She solely helmed the logo design as well as the development of seven different types of promotional collateral for a national visual arts project, Gillman Barracks.

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