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!
- “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!
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…
- 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!
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.
So truly, what are the benefits of walking ? Let me share 10 good reasons to start walking seriously:
- It improves your sleep, especially helpful for those with insomnia.
- It can make you smart as it helps to increase blood flow through the brain.
- 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.
- Taking a walk during lunch time can have a significant impact in your mood and may help to reduce your work-related stress.
- 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.
- Regular evening walks with your spouse or family is a great time to catch up and for bonding.
- 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.
- Daily walking reduces to risk of stroke, especially for men above 60.
- 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
- 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!
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….
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.
- 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
- Free Wifi. You can enjoy free wifi across all parts of Singapore, at cafes, wifi hotspots, Changi Airport and 33 of our MRT stations.
- 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.
- Group activities. You can engaged in group activities through voluntary work (e.g SG Cares), Singapore Running Portal, Fitness Event Calendar, Meetup, etc.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 🙂
I 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:
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.
2014 has been quite an interesting year for me and I just want to pen down some beautiful things that happened in my life.
- In Myanmar for the 2nd year. I bid farewell to my colleagues in Mandalay and relocate to Yangon for a new posting. Having taught in Singapore for 16 years, teaching in Myanmar has given me one of the most interesting cross-cultural experience. It is a very international community with teachers and students from ten different nationalities. I would say cross-cultural communication has been one of my greatest learning area, not to forget the steep learning curve from a teacher to a principal.
- Zumba Fitness. I was introduced to Zumba Fitness in 2007. In 2013, I introduced it to my students in Mandalay and this year to my students in Yangon. We even organized a Zumba Fitness Championship in school and many volunteered to perform at the Education Fair in Sedona Hotel, Yangon. I love Zumba Fitness because it makes exercising so much more enjoyable and helps build my confidence. Zumba Rocks!
- Chicken Pox. Yes, I had chicken pox in my 40s and it was a depressing experience. Pox invaded my face, my scalp, my body without my permission and I was suffering from migraine for a week. I am so glad that I recovered without a scar on my face and I hope this is the one and only chicken pox invasion in my entire life!!!
- Facebook. Blog. I launched the school facebook, and am delighted to attained more than 15,000 LIKES within 8 months. That is indeed an impressive achievement!!! Besides managing the school facebook, I have my personal Community Facebook page, sharing good reading articles and quotes from various sources, both online and offline. I also started blogging more regularly and it is a good exercise to remind me to do things that count rather than counting the things I do.
- Traveled. I traveled with my friends to Hong Kong, Macau and Bangkok. Since I am residing in Myanmar, I also took the golden opportunity to visit Bago, Bagan, Pyin Oo Lwin, Lashio, Pyay and Inle Lake, for work as well as for leisure. While traveling can be tiring, I always enjoy trying new food and roaming new streets, hoping to be pleasantly surprised with new experience.
- Run. I started a running club in school to promote health lifestyle, at the same time, to encourage students to sign up for the KBZ 5 km MUSIC RUN. We had more than 60 students, staff, parents and friends who signed up and ran together at the race. It was fun 🙂
I am grateful to God for taking me out of my comfort zone, to experience life in a new environment. It challenges my perspective and stretches my limit. If you are reading this, I want to encourage you to embrace the challenges ahead of you and overcome them. Remember. Live life. Love life 🙂
You have not seen much of Myanmar if you just visit Yangon. Mandalay wouls be an essential stopover in Myanmar if you are going to be in Myanmar for a week. From Mandalay, you can head to Bagan, Pyin Oo Lwin, Lashio, Taunggyi or Nay Pyi Taw (Capital of Myanmar).
The mote, which is the ancient palace, is located in front of Sedona Hotel. You will meet many locals doing morning or evening exercise around the mote, and it will take you slightly more than an hour to complete one round of walking.
If you would like a view of the entire Mandalay, you can walk up the Mandalay hill. A morning walk would be ideal during the cooler season like December, where the temperature ranges between 10 to 12 degree celsius in the morning.
Some local products to be purchased as souvenir will be jams and cashews, which is available in supermarket such as Ocean or City mart.
One of the cheapest way to enter Mandalay from Yangon is by night bus. I highly recommend Elite, Academy or Boss (newest), where the ticket costs approximately 20,000 kyats (equivalent to US$20). You will have a personal screen where you can watch movie, listen to music or play games.
M3 hotel is one of the newest addition due to a high demand for hotels in Myanmar. It cost less than US$50 during off peak season, inclusive of breakfast. You also get basic amenities in your room, such as tooth brush & paste, soap, comb, complimentary coffee & tea. The internet speed is good too!
This week has been an eventful week for the students in the school I am working with. While there were race packs to collect, morning exercises to prepare the students for the run and instructions for the event, students were buzzing with excitement and apprehension about what to expect on that day.
Yesterday, 29 November 2014, was D-day! Students had to gather at the Music Village, looking out for our school banner.
When my colleagues and I reached the Thuwanna Stadium, we estimated a total of 6,000 to 8,000 people of all ages, gathering for fun, walk/ run and music. Since we didn’t make it for the mass warm-up, we did our usual routine during our regular exercises before heading toward the Starting point.
We took a lot of selfies as we ran and the event ended with a Music concert after dusk. I believe this would be an unforgettable event for many our students and I am glad that we participated in the Music Run together!
Since I came to Myanmar, I have not been running as much as I was in Singapore. Back home, I would sign up for races to keep me motivated and I love running at the National Park near my residence.
I remember feeling really excited participating in the Inaugural 10 km race organised by Yoma in Yangon when I first started working here. I am delighted that KBZ is organising the Music Run on 29 November 2014 and I am really looking forward to the race 🙂