2017: Omakase Coach & Trainer

For those who are new to this word ‘omakase’, it is a Japanese phrase that means “I will leave it up to you”. When such an item is ordered in a Japanese restaurant by any customer, one would be expecting the following:

  • An innovative chef that presents his culinary creativity for your dining pleasure
  • A selection of dishes that entice multiple senses of the customer: sight (visual), hearing (auditory), taste (savour), smell (aroma) and touch (connect)
  • creates a WOW! factor, leaving a lasting impression that makes you crave for more!

Having worked hard for 2016, I decided to give myself a good year-end treat to Omakase at Chikuwa Tei! As I was savouring each delicacy with great satisfaction, something begins to brew in my mind:

  • An innovative trainer/coach that presents his/her creativity for one’s learning pleasure…
  • A selection of methodology that entice multiple senses & intelligence of the participants: sight (visual learning), hearing (auditory learning), taste (beauty of good connection with trainer and other participants), smell (touchbase with individual core) and touch (kinesthetic learning)
  • creates a WOW! factor that leaves a craving for endless learning!

Indeed, I want to thank many participants who have attended my training/ coaching and participated enthusiastically! I am grateful to their sharing of knowledge and have learnt so much from personal life stories. Some even left messages to encourage me to continue the good work and ever striving to be better!

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  • “You are really very good in teaching and coaching. I enjoyed your lesson very much.” – Lam
  • “I would like to thank you very much for your guidance and teachings in the past two days as it had been really engaging and fruitful to my learning.” – Hafiz
  • “Thank you so much for a really great workshop early! You have boosted our morale and taught us so much and I am sure all of us are ready to re- start our job search in an effective way.” – Bek
  • “TO ME YOU ARE THE BEST TRAINER I EVER HAD and thank you for making us ALIVE during your class” – Moe
  • “I wanted to thank you for the great two days workshop. It was well presented, very informative and enjoyable.” – Kenneth
  • “Thank you for being an inspiration in what you do and for being out there to make an impact in the lives of others. You are definitely one of the most interesting mentors I’ve met.” – Jason
  • “It was great attending your workshop. I have great fun and learnt a lot.” – Eric
  • Thank you for your energetic two days workshop. It is indeed refreshing to relearn in new perspective and helping me to polished up ready for the next job interview.” – Andy
  • “Thank you very much for your help and guidance during the recent course. It really helped me a lot and gain my confident.” – Azmi
  • “Thank you for the effort you have put in during the two days course. I really benefit a lot after attended the course. Now, I am more confident and well prepare for future interview.” – Lan
  • “Thank you . Glad I came back to Singapore and ran into you conducting the workshop. What a pleasant surprise and the high standard of Singaporean. I am not disappointment at all.” – Lynn
  • “Thanks for the insightful sharing during the 2 days workshop. I learnt a lot and got a lot of positive energy from you as well as from the others.” – Mahane
  • “Thank you for the 2 days of coaching, I have thoroughly enjoyed your course and it has broadened my horizons.” – Crystal

Thank you everyone for the lovely gift and yes, I want to become an Omakase Coach and Trainer!

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2016: Resilience Year End

As I wrap up 2016 and say farewell to the leap year, I am both amazed and grateful at the many surprising changes in me. There again, I would say everything was so deliberate, leaving nothing chance. So, lets count my blessings from A to Z…

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  • Akira – The Singapore brand that I adore for home appliances
  • Brave – ready to face challenges with courage and endure discomfort
  • Carousell -online consumer marketplace where I sell brand new or 2nd hand stuff
  • Daiso – everything is $2, a marketplace that I purchase my stationary and storage
  • ezbuy – online consumer marketplace that offers reasonable shippment price
  • Fun – to always induce fun in my work as it is a choice, not an outcome
  • Get Active – free exercise that I can participate to boost my endorphin!
  • Hawker Centre – local & international food at reasonable price
  • InTouch – daily devotion for meditation
  • JBL portable bluetooth speaker – it is waterproof and speaks volume! Love it!
  • Keep my eyes on Jesus, the creator of life (Psalm 16:8, Hebrews 12:2)
  • Linkedln – professional networking and learning platform
  • Meiji – cannot resist the milk, ice cream & snacks…
  • NaNa – my lovely puppy who just turned one year old this December!!
  • Overdrive – limitless ebook and audiobooks from local libraries (NLB Mobile)
  • Purposeful -to think and act intentionally
  • Quota – being part of the YouEconomy & determining my own sales quota
  • Relax – weekday is the new weekend 🙂
  • Samsung Galaxy Phone – my lifeline for business and social
  • TED – online platform sharing ideas through videos & playlists
  • Uniqlo – my favourite hunting ground for high end fashion wear at reasonable price
  • Viu – unlimited downloading of K-Drama
  • WordPress – where I could blog for free
  • Xiaomi band – my fitness & sleep tracker, incoming phone & message alert
  • Yoga – simple yoga for 20, 40 and 60 min
  • Zumba Fitness – my favorite dance sports!

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2016: Empowerment Year End

2016 has indeed been an empowering year when I decided to take the leap of faith to change the way I work and live, to become a part of the YouEconomy.

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When did the desire for the change start?

It started when I was working in Myanmar. While the world is experience an economic downtown, I felt that a new economy was rising at the same time. The world is limitless and the global network of people who are taking the future of work into their own hands simply intrigue me. The sense of security found full-time employment has expired..

Image result for changeWhy the change?

I do not have big plans for more money. I just wanted to (1) experience a new way of living, and (2) building/re-building futures of the people I meet, such as carving a personalized route to success with them. I want to continue creating a legacy that impact and enrich lives. Progress is impossible without change. and make sure the change is good.

Who was affected by the change?

Inevitably, I have to make changes in my life and am the most affected by the change. As I stand at the starting line of race, I promise myself that it would be a movement toward a better life, a marathon worth running. Every change provides new choices, opportunities, and challenges. I have to create positive options for myself, as well as my family and friends, focusing on the Circle of Influence rather than the Circle of Concerns. To ensure that change is not senseless, I need to begin with end in mind and ensure the change is intentional.

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Image result for wheel of lifeHow did I do it?

While embracing the YouEconomy requires a minset change, it also demands a good understanding of ourselves, be it our strengths/weaknesses, priorities in life and core belief/value system. Instead of just using the Wheel of Life to visualize my life and to chart changes to improve my live, I also use it as a tool to recreate my career pathway roadmap.


What does change mean to me?

One of the biggest lesson I have learnt is to be ultimately responsible for my own career and ‘learning to feel comfortable being uncomfortable‘. I am now a member of the multi-jobs generation and it is not just about the work, but the connections that will give me a headstart in claiming my piece of the YouEconomy that has no expiry date!

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10,000 steps a day!

Everyone walks the moment he/she gets out of bed, be it at home, out to work or school and even for recreation. While some say that walking is a form of exercise, others would tell you that walking daily is an essential movement. To put it simply, walking can help you stay moderately active if you are walking 7,000 to 10,000 steps daily.

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So truly, what are the benefits of walking ? Let me share 10 good reasons to start walking seriously:

  1. It improves your sleep, especially helpful for those with insomnia.
  2. It can make you smart as it helps to increase blood flow through the brain.
  3. Regular walking of 10,000 steps can help you lose weight and improve your self image. It can burn up to 20% of your calories intake.
  4. Taking a walk during lunch time can have a significant impact in your mood and may help to reduce your work-related stress.
  5. Regular walks helps to counter the effect of too much sitting, which increase the risk of many health issues, such as obesity and heart disease.
  6. Regular evening walks with your spouse or family is a great time to catch up and for bonding.
  7. Walking daily can help improve your quality of life, as you take time to relax (be it walking in silence or listening to music), reflect and meditate.
  8. Daily walking reduces to risk of stroke, especially for men above 60.
  9. If you walk in natural area, such as the beach or grass, your body can absorb free electrons from the Earth.  According to some studies, these electrons have powerful antioxidant effects that can protect your body from inflammation
  10. Walking 10,000 steps daily means you have walked about 9 km! That is a great achievement!

How do you know that you have achieve 10,000 steps daily?

  • There are many fitness trackers that you can purchase, such as Mi Band.
  • You can also download health app, such as S Health, to your smartphones to monitor your steps. Most smartphones have UV built-in sensors.


Recently, Singapore started a National Steps Challenge, encouraging people to aim for 10,000 steps a day.

You will receive a step tracker upon payment of a sign-up fee. Every step will earn you points that you can accumulate to redeem rewards and qualify for lucky draws.  I just redeemed & received a $5 NTUC voucher!

So, what are you waiting for?

Get up and get started!

Live a life Above the Line!

8th ASEAN Para Games

Singapore was very honored to be the host for the 8th ASEAN Para Games (3 to 9 December 2015), with 15 sports (archery, athletics, badminton, boccia, cerebral palsy football, chess, football 5-a-side, goal ball, powerlifting, sailing, shooting, swimming, table tennis, tenpin bowling, wheelchair basketball) for the athletes with disabilities. The 10 countries imagewho participated in this sports event were Brunei,
Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos,Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Nila is the Mascot for the event. He was always exuding a bundle of positive energy and burning passion for the sports, cheering the athletes.

I was one of the 3,000 volunteers in this extraordinary event! Being part of the Victory Ceremony workforce, my role as an Athlete Chaperon was to usher the winners of each event to the holding area & prepare them to go on stage to receive their medal, a mark of their achievement. It was indeed a celebration of the extraordinary.  Coupled with the courage to go against all odds, everyone of them is a winner to me!

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As much as I went with the intention to give my time in a meaningful way, I returned home gaining more than expected. The participants:

  • translated their physical disabilities into a lifetime opportunity instead of dwelling in bitterness,
  • accepted the challenges of the sports and live a life with no limits,
  • gave themselves the chance to be part of the celebration of the extraordinary.

In fact, everyone of us has our own disabilities. We tend to blame others for our failures. We call it quit before putting up a good fight, because we think the situation may not be at our advantage.


Indeed, they are the living testimony of what I have written in my previous post:

  • Living Above the Line creates Personal Power!
  • When you are Above the Line, you are the Victor!

They will always be my heroes who live their lives Above the Line.

2016: Above the Line

2015 is coming to an end. How would you score yourself in the following:

  • Personal Development (physical, mental, emotional, spiritual)
  • Professional Development (career, competency, relationship)
  • Social Development (family, friends, community)

Have you been On line, Below the Line or Above the Line?


We are On Line… We get by… We focus on fire fighting; relaxing when there is no fire, and simply wait around for the next fire to fight. We are survivors…

If On Line puts us at sea level, then I suppose Below the Line could possibly mean that we are drowning… You seem to be downcast, lost faith in yourself and people around you ignore you… I believe nobody wants to be below the line because it is an unpleasant place to be in.

So, what is Above the Line?  I know! It means I am above the sea level, where there is fresh air (abundant life), sunlight (hope), blue sky (love), etc. etc..

What does it mean to be Above the line?

  • Living Above the Line means taking action, for YOURSELF.
  • Living Above the Line means you are giving YOURSELF a chance to live a happier life.
  • Living Above the Line means you transform problems into opportunities, giving YOURSELF a chance to think and act positively.
  • Living Above the Line means you are willing to live a life of improvement, to see YOURSELF changing for the better.
  • Living Above the Line means you allow YOURSELF to be an instrument to inspire others through your attitude of positive expectancy.

Why do we want to live Above the Line?

  • Living Above the Line is a life skill that creates Personal Power!
  • When you are Above the Line, you are the Victor, the Navigator; no more a victim!
  • A life of success is the end product of living Above the Line!

I invite you to join me in my journey to live Above the Line in 2016.


Stay tune! The journey begins now….

7 Tips to Live a Cheap and Enjoyable Life in Singapore

Many friends told me it is difficult to maintain a simple lifestyle in Singapore. My wise aunt would say it is all about managing your own expectation and spending, and I totally agree with her. I want to stress that maintaining a simple lifestyle doesn’t mean leading a boring life. Let me share some tips to live a simple, cheap and enjoyable life.

  1. Eating. Instead of going for expensive high teas or expensive cuisine, you can have a sumptuous local/international meal at any Singapore Hawker Centres or Highlander Coffee Shops for a reasonable cost.  For those who are keen to put on their apron & have some fun in the kitchen, you can consider a potluck session with your friends. There are thousands of  recipes ranging from appetisers, main course, to dessert, even a variety of concoction for cocktail.  Check out these websites for some awesome recommendations: Hungrygowhere,  ieatishootipost, ladyironchef, lonelyplanet
  2. Free Wifi. You can enjoy free wifi across all parts of Singapore, at cafes, wifi hotspotsChangi Airport and 33 of our MRT stations.
  3. Free Guided Tours. Kudos to all the volunteers for making these free guided tours probable at the National Museum of Singapore, along Singapore River & Chinatown, Changi Museum War Trails, National Park Walks & Tours (only some are free), Singapore Botanical Gardens, etc.
  4. Group activities. You can engaged in group activities through voluntary work (e.g SG Cares), Singapore Running Portal, Fitness Event Calendar, Meetup, etc.
  5. Free Performance. Performance by SSO, Theatre on the Bay (Esplanade), Free Events in Town, 37 Fun & Free Things to do, Light & Water Show at Marina Bay Sands.
  6. Stimulation for the Brain and Mind. We have a total of 27 Public Libraries in Singapore, where you can find books, music and films. They do organize events, such as storytelling, talks and exhibitions, for all ages.  You can also borrow ebooks using the Overdrive mobile app.
  7. Courses, Activities & Interest Groups.  If you are a Passion Card holder, you are in for a big treat!  Check out the Facebook of Singapore Really Really Free Market.

You know what? I love Singapore 🙂

Interesting findings from a newly-trained first aider

First-Aid-Supplies-OnlineI have attended a Standard First Aid with CPR+AED course recently and I must say that it has been enriching.  It also makes me think what I can do proactively so that I can remember the techniques and, at the same time, feel useful. The following are 5 interesting findings:

Mobile Application

There are 2 mobile applications that I have found very useful and I would like to share with you.

  • If you are currently residing in Singapore and would like to be available as a First Responder, you can download myResponder.  It will prompt you to render first aid to Cardiac Arrest cases near you before the ambulance arrives.  It could be performing CPR or helping to apply AED to revive the casualty.  myResponder will also highlight the nearby AEDS.
  • mySCDF is another mobile application that is absolutely useful for anyone in any parts of the world.  It has Life Saving Procedures for CPR, Choking, and the operation of a fire extinguisher.  I would only recommend those who are AED trained to operate the medical device.

Rescue TV Programme

For those who subscribe to Cable TV, I highly recommend 2 rescue TV programme that I love:

  • Bondi Rescue – you will find a team of trained lifeguards, committed to their rescue effort, such as drowning and cardiac arrest cases
  • King Cross ER – watching the emergency department saving lives was an emotional, heart-stopping and thought-provoking experience

Just for laugh

For basic knowledge of everyday first aid, you can visit BritishRedCross to watch the video. Be Ready, not Sorry.

Strategies to Motivate One to Learn

Having been a teacher for almost 2 decades, one of my greatest delights is to see my students growing up to become lifelong learner. This cannot happen unless they’re motivated to learn.

The trait of motivation to learn is an enduring disposition to strive for content knowledge and skill mastery in learning situations.  The state of motivation to learn exists when learner engagement in a particular activity is guided by the intention of acquiring the knowledge or mastering the skill that the activity is designed to teach.

A learner’s motivation to learn is stimulated most directly through modeling, communication of expectations, and direct instruction or socialization by significant others.  As teachers, we are active socialization agents capable of stimulating the general development of learner’s motivation to learn and it’s activation in particular situations.  

People do not invest effort on tasks that do not lead to values outcomes even if they know they can perform the tasks successfully, and they do not invest effort on even highly valued tasks if they are convinced that they cannot succeed no matter how hard they try.  I find this articles very helpful for classroom teachers, and in fact, most relevant for trainers/facilitators coaching adult learning.

The following sharing is adapted from Synthesis of Research on Strategies for Motivating Students to Learn, written by Jere Brophy in 1992. 

Essential Preconditions

  1. Supportive environment – Encouragement, Patiently supporting learners’ learning efforts, Allowing learners to feel comfortable taking intellectual risks without fear of being criticized for making mistakes
  2. Appropriate level of challenge/ difficulty – learners will be bored if the tasks are too easy and frustrated if tasks are too difficult
  3. Meaningful learning objectives
  4. Moderation/ optimal use – noted that any particular strategy can loses its effectiveness if it is used too often or too routinely

Motivating by Maintaining Success Expectations

  1. Program for success – make sure learners achieve consistently
  2. Teach goal setting, performance appraisal and self reinforcement – SMART goals
  3. Recognize the link between effort and outcome
  4. Provide remedial socialization – teachers/trainers can shape the way learners view their performance

Motivating by Supplying Extrinsic Incentives

  1. Offer rewards for good (or improved) performance 
  2. Structure appropriate competition 
  3. Call attention to the instrumental value of academic actvitities – extrinsic motivational strategies are effective under certain circumstances but teachers/ trainers should not rely on them. When learners are preoccupied with rewards/ competition, they may not attend to or appreciate the value of what they are learning 

Motivating by Captilizaing on Learners’ Instrinsic Motivation

  1. Adapt tasks to learners’ interest
  2. Include novelty/ variety elements
  3. Allow choices or autonomous decisions
  4. Provide opportunities for learners to respond actively
  5. Provide immediate feedback to learner responses
  6. Allow learners to create finished products
  7. Include fantasy or stimulation elements 
  8. Incorporate game-like features into exercises
  9. Include higher-level objectives and divergent questions
  10. Provide opportunities to interact with peers – plan follow up activities that permit learners to work together in pairs or small groups to tutor one another, discuss issues, or develop suggested solutions to problems, or to work as a team preparing for a competition, participation in a stimulation game, or producing some group product

Stimulating Learner Motivation to Learn

  1. Model interest in learning and motivation to learn
  2. Communicate desirable expectations and attributions about learners’ motivation to learn
  3. Minimize learners’ performance anxiety during learning activities – structure most activities to promote learning rather than to evaluate performance
  4. Project intensity – useful when introducing new content, demonstrating skills, or giving instructions for assignments
  5. Project enthusiasm
  6. Induce tsk interest or appreciation 
  7. Induce curiosity or suspense
  8. Induce dissonance or cognitive conflict 
  9. Make abstract content more personal, concrete or familiar 
  10. Induce learners to generate their own motivation to learn
  11. State learning objectives and provide advance organizers
  12. Model task-related thinking and problem  solving 

Identifying Basic Personality Type using Enneagram

This is a follow up on what I have written about Enneagram on 3 February 2015.

The Feeling Triad: Type 2, 3, 4
Type 2 (the Helper) is caring, generous, possessive & manipulative.
– Healthy 2s are compassionate, generous,  loving & thoughtful; they go out of their way to be of service to people.
– Average 2s are possessive, needy & controlling, but not able to express their needs directly. They want to be loved but often intrude on others too much.
– Unhealthy 2s deceive themselves about the presence of their negative feelings, particularly rage & resentment. They want others to see them as loving & good all the time even when they manipulate people & act selfishly.

Type 3 (the Motivator) is adaptable, ambitious, image-conscious & hostile.
– Healthy 3s quickly learn how to make the best of most situations, & they are interested in building & maintaining high self-esteem. They are able to motivate others to want to be like them because they are genuinely admirable in some socially valued way.
– Average 3s are the most out of touch with their emotions & with their individuality. They suppress their feelings in order to perform more effectively & to make others like them. They lose touch with their feelings as they try to get the success & affirmation they crave.
– Unhealthy 3s can become hostile & extremely malicious if they do not get the admiring attention they desire.

Type 4 (the Individualist) is intuitive, expressive, self-absorbed & depressive.
– Healthy 4s are very personal, revealing & communicating their feelings in ways that enable others to get in touch with their own emotions.
– Average 4s become too aware of their feelings, especially their negative ones, withdrawing from others & living too much in their imaginations.
– Unhealthy 4s are extremely depressed & alienated from others, tormented by self-doubt & self-hatred. They become suicidal when they can no longer cope with reality.

The Thinking Triad: Type 5, 6, 7
Type 5 (the Investigator) is perceptive, original, detached & eccentric.
– Healthy 5s are extremely knowledgeable about some aspects of their environment, & are capable of brilliant, original, inventive solutions to problems.
– Average 5s feel more at home with thinking & imagining than with doing, & so get lost in the mazes of their minds while their lives & opportunities diminish.
– Unhealthy 5s create more problems for themselves than they solve because they have become so completely isolated from reality. They are unable to know what is real or unreal, true or untrue.

Type 6  (the Loyalist) is engaging, committed, defensive & paranoid.
– Healthy 6s are loyal & faithful friends. They act to everyone’s  mutual benefit, are committed to others & they look for the same qualities from others.
– Average 6s look outside themselves too much for “permission” to act from an authority  figure or belief system which will tell them what to do. Unsure of themselves unless the authority is on their side, they nevertheless feel they must assert themselves against the authority to prove their independence, at least from time to time.
– Unhealthy 6s succumb to anxiety & feelings of inferiority & insecurity, self-destructively bringing about the very consequences they most fear.

Type 7 (the Enthusiast) is enthusiastic,  accomplished, uninhibited & manic.
– Healthy 7s are exuberantly enthusiastic about the environment, becoming extremely accomplished in a wide variety of activities.
– Average 7s become extremely restless, moving from one topic to the next before anything can be completed, engaged in an unending search for new experiences. This causes them to do more of everything, although, ironically,  the more they do, the less they are satisfied. They want to keep their minds occupied at all times so that their anxiety will not get to them. They constantly imagine that they are “missing out” on something that would be more of everything so they will not feel deprived.
– Unhealthy 7s become self-centred, dissipated escapists,  flying impulsively out of control.

The Instinctive Triad: Type 8, 9, 1
Type 8 (the Leader) is self-confident, decisive, dominating & combative.
– Healthy 8s are based on tremendous vitality & a keen intuition that can see possibilities in situations & in people that others often miss. They feel strong & capable,  & can use their immense self-confident,  courage & leadership abilities to inspire others to great accomplishments.
– Average 8s tend 5s dominate everything in the environment too aggressively, asserting themselves impulsively & indulging their instinctual needs for control & satisfaction without much regard for the consequences.
– Unhealthy 8s relate to environment as bullies & tyrants, ruthlessly tearing down anyone & anything that stands in their way.

Type 9 (the Peacemaker) is peaceful, reassuring, complacent & neglectful.
– Healthy 9s are based on their openness, their ability to identify intimately with a person or belief, & a centredness that enables them to remain calm even when others around them are reacting hysterically. Their receptiveness, optimism & peacefulness are reassuring to others, enabling others to flourish because they create a harmonious atmosphere for everyone.
– Average 9s undermine their own development (& their ability to deal with reality) by disengaging from a real, grounded connection with their own drives, with others & with the environment. To maintain their tranquillity, they begin to idealised the other – whether a person or an abstraction – too much.
– Unhealthy 9s become dangerously fatalistic & neglectful as they cling to what have become little more than illusions about reality from which they have dissociated themselves.

Type 1 (the Reformer) is principled, orderly, perfectionistic & self righteous.
– Healthy 1s  have the ability to relate to the environment impartially; they are consequently able to act with wisdom & conviction. They are reasonable, fair-minded & conscientious, guided by principles & ab inner “knowing” which give them strong consciences & a clear understanding of right & wrong.
– Average 1s are out of balance with their natural drives, feelings & instincts, which they try to control too much. They strive for nothing less than absolute perfection, finding it difficult to accept anything as it is since it can always be better.
– Unhealthy 1s are intolerant & self-righteous, becoming obsessed about the corruption they find in others while ignoring their own

contradictory actions

.  In the name of the highest ideals, they can become extraordinarily cruel to themselves & others.

Adapted from Chapter 3 of the “Personality Types” by Don Richard Riso

Susan in Yangon