Self-Made “Most Inspiring Employee”

Whether you are an employee or elf-employed, the following tips (adapted from What colour is Your Parachute 2014, written by Richard N Bowles) are most essential to make you a complete turn on!


  1. You are punctual, arriving at work on time or better yet, early; who stay until quitting, or even leave late.
  2. You are dependable.  This is especially important if you do not wish to be micro-managed.
  3. You have a good attitude.  Remember to smile 🙂
  4. You have driver, energy and enthusiasm.
  5. You want more than a pay-check.
  6. You are self-disciplined, well-organised, highly motivated, and good at managing your time.
  7. You can handle people well.
  8. You can use language effectively.
  9. You can work on a computer.
  10. You are committed to teamwork.
  11. You are flexible, can respond to novel situations, or adapt when circumstances at work change.
  12. You are trainable, and love to learn.  Read books, read your environment, read people!
  13. You are project-oriented and goals-oriented.
  14. You have creativity and are good at problem-solving.
  15. You have integrity.
  16. You are loyal to the organisation.
  17. You are able to identity opportunities, markets, and coming trends.

The working world is ever changing.  Having worked overseas for 2 years, I would say the top of the chart for me is #15 and #12, particularly the love for learning.  Learn to take risk, the good things, new things and to do things differently.  Doing things the same way and you will always get the same outcome.  That does not click.

Make it a personal mission to be a self-made “Most Inspiring Employee” and stay hungry.


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 🙂


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 🙂



Road trip to Lashio & Pyay, Myanmar

Lashio is the largest town in northern Shan State and a good 6 hours drive from Mandalay. The population is made up of mostly Shan, Chinese and Burmans.

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Pyay was formerly known as Prome in the Bago Region and a good 6 hours drive from Yangon.

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Together with my colleagues, we went to the boarding schools to meet the Grade 11 students before they take their matriculation in March next year. This is so that we can share various Singapore education pathway for their consideration.

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Stopover Mandalay while you are on a short business trip to Yangon

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!


First Music Run in Yangon

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.

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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!


On business trip & eating alone?

I love sashimi.

During my recent trip to Bangkok, I went on a sashimi hunt to different japanese food for my dinners!

1) Hokkai-do @ Siam Paragon


Food quality: 5/5
Price: $$$$
Comments: They are newly opened & are having a promotion. The sashimi is really fresh and tasty!

2) Fuji @ Siam Paragon & Don Mueang airport


Food quality: 4/5
Price: $$
Comments: The quality of the food is quite the same as the Fuji in Yangon, Myanmar. They say I can use their dining card in both countries. I wonder how it is… Lol

3) The Gallery Sushi Bar @ Chidlom Ploenchit Road


Food quality: 5/5
Price: $$$
Comments: This restaurant is recommended by my boss & I must say the sashimi is really awesome! It is within walking distance from Chit Lom BTS.

4) Sushi Masa @ Asia Hotel


Food quality: 5/5
Price: $$$
Comments: This restaurant is recommended by my colleague & I like the atmosphere of the place! The food is great too! It is within walking distance from Rachathewi BTS.

I will definitely come back to restaurants1, 3 & 4 for more sushi & sashimi!!!!

You should check them out if you stop over Bangkok, be it on a holiday or business trip 😉

Run wherever you are!

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 🙂