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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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.

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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?

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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.

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Stay tune! The journey begins now….

Using Enneagram for Coaching

What is Enneagram?  Enneagram is a profound map that illuminates the 9 different architectures of the human personality.  It provides highly accurate descriptions of how individuals of each style think, feel, and behave.  It also explains the underlying drives and motivations, providing precise development activities tailored to the specific needs of the 9 styles.  For the individual, Enneagram is not a quick fix to your problem but I am sure you will develop greater self-awareness.  It is a powerful tool to help people learn and grow, and hopefully the awareness will enable you to take personal responsibility for your behaviour.

Understanding your Enneagram style

  1. Ones seek a perfect world and work diligently to improve both themselves and everyone and everything around them. They are Reformers.
  2. Twos want to be liked by those they want to like them, try to meet the needs of others, and attempt to orchestrate the people and events in their lives.  They are Lovers.
  3. Threes organise their lives to achieve specific goals and to appear successful in order to gain the respect and admiration of others.  They are Achievers.
  4. Fours desire deep connections both with their interior worlds and with other people and they feel most alive when they authentically express their feelings and personal experiences.  They are Creative Individualists.
  5. Fives thirsts for information and knowledge and use emotional detachment as a way of keeping involvement with others to a minimum.  They are Thinkers.
  6. Sixes have insightful minds, are prone to worry, and create anticipatory or worst-case scenarios to help themselves feel prepared in case something goes wrong.  Some Sixes are more overtly fearful (phobic) while others move toward the fear as a way to prove they have no fear (counter-phobic); most Sixes do some of both.  They are Security Seekers.
  7. Sevens crave the stimulation of new ideas, people, and experiences; avoid pain; create elaborate future plans that will allow them to keep all of their options open.  They are Adventurers.
  8. Eights pursue the truth, like to keep situations under control, want to make important things happen, and try to hide their vulnerability.  They are Leaders.
  9. Nines seek peace, harmony, and positive mutual regard and dislike conflict, tension, and ill will.  They are Peacemakers.

For greater details you can refer to the Enneagram website.  You are encourage to do an online test to know your Enneagram Style.

Adapted from “Bringing out the Best in everyone you Coach” by Ginger Lapid-Bogda

What is WEEP?

Unlike the Myers-Brigg Type Indicator (MBTI), or DISC personality profile, the Workplace Emotion Evaluation Profile (WEEP) probes mainly in people’s individual working styles, how one cope with stresses & strong emotions at work.

Answer the following questions with Strongly Agree (SA), Somewhat Agree (A), Didn’t Agree (DA) or Strongly Disagree (SD).

  1. I feel anxious a lot.
  2. When I am feeling strong emotions, I find it hard to think about anything else.
  3. I worry about living up to the expectations of others at work.
  4. I believe success is more than about luck (who you know, being in the right place at the right time) than hard work.
  5. I don’t know why, but people often take what I say the wrong way.
  6. At work, it is important to me that I am appreciated.
  7. It is important to me that people like me.
  8. I could be more successful at work if some of the people I work with were not so annoying.
  9. I frequently feel stressed at work.
  10. I tend to make decisions based on logic and facts.
  11. I am introspective – I know myself well.
  12. When someone at work does something that bothers me, I usually say something to him/her about it.
  13. I am comfortable speaking up at work when my opinion is different from most.
  14. I prefer working by myself rather than in a team.
  15. Once I’ve made a decision, I rarely have second thoughts.
  16. If I’m annoyed or angry at work, it would be pretty hard to tell because I don’t show it.
  17. In times of stress I find comfort or peace in religion.
  18. I rely mostly on my feelings to guide my decision making.
  19. I easily express my feelings and emotions.
  20. I like my life to be pretty much the same day to day.
  21. I consider myself a creative person.
  22. When I am stressing out at work, it is usually because of something going on in my personal life outside of work.
  23. I tend to be pretty competitive with others at work.
  24. I talk more than I listen.
  25. I do my best work under stressful conditions.
  26. I hate to admit it, but I am a bit of a procrastinator.
  27. When I am bothered by something, there are only a couple of people that I will talk to about it.
  28. It is more important to be diplomatic than truthful.
  29. Sometimes when I’m talking with others I feel like I’m the only person who sees the big picture.
  30. When forced to compromise my principles I still feel a nagging sense of regret.

I invite you to take the online survey on WEEP website.  The four categories are Spotters, Accepters, Believers or Solvers.  At the end of the survey, they will provide you with a short write up of your primary and your secondary type.

Have fun 🙂

Chapter 9 of It’s Always Personal by Anne Kreamer

7 things I do that improves my life

1) Reading
I love to read and it is a protected time in my life. Reading makes me relax and gives me time to take deep breathe. Reading helps me reflect on the things I have been doing and if it is worth continuing or if there is a better way to do things. I like to share the quotes that inspires or challenges me. Most of all, It always thrills me to discover hidden treasures in the books.

2) Purpose in Life
Purpose gives me a reason to exist. It is like the mission statement in any organization to justify its existence. Somehow, my pathway is brighter & clearer, and it is kind of sad to see many people chasing for temporal things that is within reach, when actually they are really aimless, directionless, and even without a clear identity.
Having a purpose in life helps to grow my courage, confidence & endurance as I encounter failures & difficulties. Having a purpose does not promise an easy life, but It heightens my self-awareness, helps me understand what I want and be more confident as an individual.
I encourage you to take some time to ask yourself what is your purpose in life, and then organize your life with the purpose in mind.

3) Travel
I promise myself that I will visit a new place every year, or revisit a place after ten years. It takes me out of my comfort zone. Naturally, I am more alert and ask more questions because I do not want to waste time. Also, as I become more connected on social media, there is so much that I want share with others, such as on Instagram, Facebook, my personal Blog and with the Couchsurfing community.

4) Being alone
Being alone alert my senses. For example, eating alone makes me pay more attention to what I am eating. It gives me time to think & declutter my mind. Usually, the most important decision is made when I am alone. When i am alone, the voices around me fades away and help me focus on what really matters. Also, I have travelled alone and lived alone, and they have been one of the best experiences I had in life.

5) Focus
When I was young, I was a pessimistic kid and have the tendency to compare myself with others. Instead of seeing problems as challenges to hone my skills, I freeze and simply sit there feeling overwhelmed. Obviously, that is not very productive, in fact it is counter productive. Every hurdle is a roadblock.
Things change for the better when I start listing my challenges and focus my energy to overcome my fears one at a time. Focus helps me cope better, regain control of my emotions, stay calm and manage my expectations correctly.

6) Build Relationships
Playing multiple roles at home and at work can be very tiring. But I love every part of it because I love my family, friends and my career. At work, I need to go to work with a clear head to make sure I am working to my best ability to meet the needs of the organization and people. When I am with my family & friends, I want to give them my full attention instead of thinking about my work. That I must say is impossible if there is no love for the people and love does not exists if there is no relationship. I believe when we are at our deathbeds, we will likely regret not spending more time with people rather than with work. What matters most in life is relationship.

7) Spend time with Jesus
He is the best! Without him, I wouldn’t have gotten out of my pessimistic state of mind, experience love & hope, & the determination to stay afloat no matter what. Most importantly, I wouldn’t have landed myself in the best job ever, teaching. I learn a lot as I teach, my perspective is constantly challenged by the people I meet (children & parents of different generation). Thank you Jesus for blessing me so much 🙂

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I say goodbye to 2014

2014 has been quite an interesting year for me and I just want to pen down some beautiful things that happened in my life.

  1. 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.
  2. 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!
  3. 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!!!
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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 🙂

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1 plus 1 plus 1 = Truly Happy Life

To lead a truly happy life, we need purpose, challenge and pleasure, that is my 1 plus 1 plus 1 formula to a truly happy life.

PURPOSE

Have you read the book “A Purpose Driven Life” written by Rick Warren?  If you have not, please do.  Personally, I had gained much insights to how I can be more intentional in the way I live my life instead of letting things ‘just happen’.  The reading would challenge your current state of mind, your comfort zone and your existence.  Your focus on self would be redirected to people, be it in your career, friendship or family.  And I fully agree that at the end of our lives, what really matters is relationships.

Hence, my life purpose statement is “Make a difference (MAD) in the lives of others, just as God has made (and still making) a difference in mine.”

To me, it is simple yet profound.  It is a lifetime project! What about yours?
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CHALLENGE

imageMost of the time, I would say challenges are good as it keeps us learning, stretches us potential and obviously gives us a sense of achievement when we learn something new or accomplished something great.  Instead of seeing challenges as a threat, change the way you think and push yourself to be comfortable to do the same thing differently or do something else.  Open yourself to a world of new experiences and opportunities – it could be well worth it.

I agree that challenges can lead to depression if not handled well.  I know failure is scary, and it is normal to fear failure.  Stop telling yourself “I don’t know how,” “I am not trained,” “I am overwhelmed” and replace it with “I can learn how,” and “Let me list things down and take one step at a time.”  Do forget to yourself with positive people that encourage, support and contribute to your success rather than sabotaging or draining you emotionally.

PLEASURE

While some people find pleasure in combining career and hobby, I delight in simple pleasures of life that is forgotten in the midst of complex pursuits in life.  Trust me.  I am definitely not talking about adopting a passive mentality.  It is action time!!

  1. Enjoy the pleasure of drinking water.  Yes, water, not soda, sugary or caffeinated drinks.  It hydrates you, improves your healthy & skin quality; it gives you energy.
  2. Eat. Eat. Eat. Eat every 3-4 hours and I mean eating small meals!  Watch your waistline and not end up horizontally challenged!  HAHAHA!!!!
  3. Sleep is a pleasure and when I have sufficient sleep, I enjoy the high level of productivity.
  4. Exercise is good as it produce endorphin that makes you happy and it keeps you fit too.  I find it most enjoyable exercising with music.  You can try some Zumba Fitness routine on YouTube!
  5. Making time to build relationships is also pleasurable as it makes us feel good and loved.  Do not limit to existing relationships.  I encourage you to make new friends 🙂
  6. Be it alone or with someone, chill out.  You can do something you like or do something different.  It should be relaxing rather than stressing you out.  Remember we all have different personality and thus some things is relaxing to one but stressful to others.

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