Happy Father’s Day!

On this special day that honours fathers all around the world, let us refresh why it is important to honour fatherhood.

As mentioned on page 161 of “Winning with Honour”, both the father and the mother of the child need to step up to the plate and play their complementary roles.

According to the Center for the Study of Parental Acceptance and Rejection at the University of Connecticut, researchers have found that the love or rejection of mothers and fathers equally affects the behaviour, self-esteem, emotional stability, and mental health of their children, but in some cases, “the withdrawal of a father’s love seems to play a bigger role in kids’ problems with personality and psychological adjustment, delinquency, and substance abuse.”

A study in the United States has found that children who grow up without a father are negatively impacted in many areas including poverty, health, incarceration, crime, teen pregnancy, child abuse, drug abuse,  alcohol abuse, education, and childhood obesity.

Fathers have the special role of teaching life lessons and values, growing personal identity, and imbuing the child with self-confidence and the courage to be different when necessary and appropriate. This need for father leadership is the same for both girls and boys. But fatherhood, especially in an urban setting, is arguably much less instinctive than motherhood.

Motherhood is probably more instinctive as the mother and child have a physical connection through the gestation of the child that lasts around 10 months—the need to feed and protect the child, respond to the child’s cry, comfort the child in sickness, and attend to the child’s health and hygiene, comes more or less naturally to the mother.

In agrarian society in the past, fatherhood was more instinctive as children are taught the following life lessons by the father as he exercised his superior physical strength to plant, reap, and harvest:

  • Honour seasons
  • Sow in order to reap
  • Exercise diligence
  • Exercise discipline
  • Honour your elders and learn from them
  • Honour time
  • Honour nature

In an urbanised society, fatherhood is less instinctive and runs the grave danger of being lost. In a society where many women choose to work while they raise a family, wives ask their husbands for help and fathers end up, if they are not conscious and deliberate about it, performing the role of mothers and forgetting their role as fathers.

Fatherhood is less instinctive because the need is less obvious—fathers often think that their responsibility is merely to provide shelter and food for the body, but forget that they also need to cultivate the values, character, soul, and spirit of their child.

In the early years, from nursery through kindergarten to primary school, the child needs most of all to feel protected and cared for—these needs are typically fulfilled by the mother.

But as the child enters the teenage years, standing out from peers becomes awkward and it becomes much easier to follow the herd. These are the years where the child needs most of all to have a strong sense of identity, self-confidence, and courage to be different at times.

Fathers have the special role of leading their children through a world today that is seeing:

  • A failure of leadership
  • A shortage of ideas and of thinking
  • The rise of relativism

It is a world where children, if not carefully grounded with self-confidence and self-respect, will end up simply following the crowd, only to discover later in life that most people are only looking out for their selfish wants, rather than caring about the well-being of others.

These three challenges of leadership, thinking, and relativism have to be addressed by everyone having a clear set of values for life to:

  • Shape the way they think
  • Guide what they think about
  • Question why they think the way they think.

This is particularly important in the internet age. While the internet is a great source of knowledge and information, it is also a platform where readers, whether consciously or unconsciously, take the easy way out and stop thinking for themselves and stop questioning the veracity of what they are reading.

The responsibility for identity, self-confidence, and the courage to be different lies primarily with fathers. And these qualities are absolutely critical for children to succeed in a world that is increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous.

May all fathers honour their responsibilities as fathers so that their children can be the best that they can be!

Happy Father’s Day!

By Joanne H. Lim

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Happy Mother’s Day

We all have a father and a mother, and whether they have been present or absent in our lives, we are all aware that their roles and their impact on our lives have been very different.

As mentioned on page 159 of Winning with Honour, ask any child what he thinks, and he or she will tell you that their mother and father are different. As one saying goes: “The mother buys the toy; the father is the toy!”

No doubt there is a degree of stereotyping here, and sometimes the roles are reversed, but most times, the mother is the protector and comforter, while the father is the encourager and adventurer. This is because men and women are largely different by nature and react differently instinctively when placed in the same situation.

And children know these differences quite instinctively as well. Three children aged five, eight and eleven watched an award-winning short film about a puma going after a bear cub.

The puma got so close that he scratched the face of the cub with his front paw, but at the end of the film, the puma unexpectedly simply slinked away and left the cub alone. The next shot showed a huge bear behind the cub, which of course was the reason for the puma giving up his prey.

When the children were asked whether the huge bear was a mama bear or a papa bear. All three said it was a mama bear. The oldest said that in the animal world, the papa simply disappears and leaves the mama to take care of the babies. The middle child said that in the animal world, the mama is always the one fighting to protect her children. The youngest one said it was a mama bear, because she licked the blood off the wound on the face of the bear cub. The instincts of the three children were clear and immediate: The role of the mother is to protect and comfort her children.

And this role of a mother and the ability of a mother to touch and inspire her offspring is beautifully displayed in this short film, Ah Leong’s Story.

 

Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers, foster mothers, and god-mothers! May you continue to touch and inspire the children in your lives with your love and strength.

 

By Joanne H. Lim

Video Credit: http://honour.sg/portfolio/ah-leongs-story/

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Happy Labour Day! Be the best that you can be

On this Labour Day holiday in Singapore, be inspired by this migrant worker’s rags-to-riches story and his big-hearted ex-employer who encouraged him to strike it out on his own. You can read the full article that was published in the Straits Times here.

The son of poor rice farmers in India, Mr Mani came to Singapore as a penniless migrant worker. Through his resourcefulness and eagerness to learn, he became a boss of his own company that recorded a revenue of S$2.5 million last year.

Mr Mani alludes his success to God and his former employer, Mr Ang, who taught him and encouraged him to strike it out on his own. Mr Mani said of Mr Ang: “He said, ‘You go out and fight. If you are not successful, you can come back.’ Where to find boss like that? Even I cannot be like that. I was so happy I cried,” he says.

With Mr Ang’s blessings, Mr Mani started his own company while he was still working for Mr Ang’s company. When he eventually quit his job to focus full time on his own company, his generous ex-employer, Mr Ang, passed him contracts.

When asked why he was so generous to his ex-employee, Mr Ang said: “It’s very simple. I’m growing old. There’s also a lot of work to go around. If he can chiong, let him do it,” he says, using the Hokkien word which means to take risks. “You cannot keep everything for yourself. Anyway, if he’s successful, I’m happy for him.”

Mr Mani said: “Workers are very important. Without them, we are nothing.” He added: “I’m very lucky. All my Singaporean customers have been very good to me. They like me and give me a lot of jobs.” He also shared in the video that accompanies the article: “If you work hard in Singapore, you don’t have to worry. If you’re lazy, you have to worry.”

Happy Labour Day! Like Mr Mani and Mr Ang, may you always strive to give your best to those around you so that you can be the best that you can be.

Straits Times  l  Migrant Worker Goes from Painting Condos to Boss of Own Company.jpg.png

By Joanne H. Lim

Photo Credit: Straits Times

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Honour Resilience…know that YOUR LIFE MATTERS

Winning with Honour  l  Your Life Matters.png

In this article published in the Straits Times on 27 April 2017,  Sheryl Sandberg, the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, shared how she helped her young children deal with their grief after their father (Sheryl’s husband, Dave) died suddenly from a cardiac arrhythmia two years ago.

Apart from getting advice from her friend who counsels grieving children, she also sought the advice of her friend Adam Grant, a psychologist and professor who studies how people find motivation and meaning, to find out how she could help her children get through this tragedy.

Sandberg learned that resilience is a muscle that we can build, and that “resilience leads to better health, greater happiness and more success”.

Sandberg commented: “As a society, we owe all our children safety, support, opportunity and help finding a way forward.” She suggested that we can all start by showing others that they matter – that other people notice them, care for them, and rely on them – and letting them know that they make a difference to others.

Sandberg also discovered that when an individual feels like he/she does not matter, they feel rejected and alone, and become more prone to

  • Self-destruction (“Hurting myself isn’t a big deal, since I don’t count anyway”)
  • Anti-social behaviour (“I might be doing something bad, but at least I’ve got your attention”)
  • Withdrawal/ Distancing
  • Depression
  • Low Self-Esteem
  • Suicidal
  • Rebellion
  • Illegal and harmful behaviour

While Sandberg’s article is very much child-focused, what she has shared applies to every human being – we all need to know that we matter and that our lives make a difference to others. However, as mentioned on page xxxi of “Winning with Honour”, in a world powered by technology, and infiltrated by materialism and consumerism, most of us can easily find ourselves living full but unfulfilling lives, if we do not regularly take the time to self-reflect and take stock of our lives.

Know that YOUR LIFE MATTERS, especially if you are going through a hard time right now, because there will be no one else like you in the entire history of humanity – you have unique skills and talents that other do not have, and you have a calling that only you can fulfill. It is your responsibility to find out what that calling is, and to do your very best to fulfill it.

Now that you know that your life matters, pay it forward by telling others that they matter too, for as mentioned in a previous blog, if we want to live full and satisfied lives, we need to remember that life is not about ourselves, but about others.

Happy Labour Day!

By Joanne H. Lim

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Why should we honour kindness?

As we start a new week, a new month and a new quarter, let us be inspired by this video entitled “Unsung Heros”, and think about why we should choose to honour kindness, even though it might not make us rich or famous.

As mentioned in a previous blog and on page 11-17 of Winning with Honour, research has shown that transcendence – that is, helping others self-actualize and be the best that they can be – is the highest need of every human being. Also, to live a satisfied life, we need to value love and relationships above everything.

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

As Mr Jack Ma, Founder of Alibaba, said: “No matter how successful you are in your career, you must always remember that we are here to live. If you keep yourself busy working, you will surely regret it.”

Mr Ma also said: “We are here to make things better for one another, and not to work.”

As mentioned in the “Unsung Heros” video : “What does he get in return for doing this everything? He does not get anything. He won’t richer, won’t appear on TV. Still anonymous…and not a bit more famous. What he does receive are emotions. He witnesses happiness. Reaches a deeper understanding. Feels the love. Receives what money cannot buy. A world made more beautiful.”

Choose to honour kindness today to make your own life more satisfying…and the world around you a more beautiful place.  

By Joanne H. Lim

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Win with Honour with The 4 Way Test

Winning with Honour l The 4-Way Test

As we start a new week, let us be inspired by this sculpture by Mr Victor Tan Wee Tar that is nestled in the beautiful Singapore Botanic Gardens, which is a UNESCO world heritage site.

In this sculpture called “Passing of Knowledge”, a continuous stream of water connects a larger figure and a smaller figure – “knowledge, like water, is vital to life”, and “the water is symbolic of the passing of knowledge from generation to generation”.

The sign that accompanies the sculpture explains: “This embodies the Rotarians’ hope that the values cultivated by The 4 Way Test will continue to be a guiding principle in human relations for our future generations.”

And what it is the 4-Way Test?

Of the things we think, say, or do, let us think:

  1. Is it the TRUTH?
  2. Is it FAIR to ALL CONCERNED?
  3. Will it Build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIP?
  4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to ALL CONCERNED?

Wishing one and all a great week ahead!

 

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Winning in Work and Life is More than Knowledge and Skills

Schools and universities see much of their role as sharing knowledge and developing skills, rather than guiding their students on winning in work and life. All of us know that in leading our organizations, what we look for when we recruit or promote people is not just competence and experience, but also trustworthiness and dependability. 

We wonder whether we can trust the people we choose to deliver on what we expect of them, both in terms of timeliness and of quality of work. Will they do their best according to their talents and capabilities? Will they produce work they can be proud of? Will they observe deadlines, and let us know if they will not be able to meet the deadlines? 

We also wonder whether our people will cooperate, collaborate and support each other as necessary and appropriate. Will they see the broader organisational objective and responsibility, or approach work in self-pride and selfishness?

Can we trust our people in their attitude towards their work and towards each other? Will our people honour their word, and honour each other?  Will they deliver on their promises?  Will they look out for each other and function as family or as a team?

Universities and schools fail to make the point with their students that to succeed in work and life, they need to be trustworthy and not just competent in their skills and abilities.

Trust is the most important currency for long-term relationships – we all know this instinctively! Trust is both critical and essential in relationships with parents and family, with friends and relatives, with bosses, colleagues and subordinates, with business partners and customers, and with government and the community. And Honor is the Foundation of Trust.

Honour

How can we understand Honour?  Some people think Honour is too ambiguous an idea, and could be better understood if we were to use words like Integrity or Respect. But while integrity and respect are certainly important aspects of honour, they are not adequate.

To understand the depth of Honor, consider the question:  What is the difference between Liking and Loving?  When we say we like something or someone, we mean that there are characteristics about the thing or the person that appeals to us. Liking, therefore, is in fact a very self-centered way of thinking.

On the other hand, when we say we love someone, we will continually be thinking of what we can do to please that person, make the person more comfortable, bring joy to the person, and raise the person’s sense of well-being. Loving, therefore, is a very other-centred way of thinking and behavior.  Unfortunately, the word “love” has been very much debased in many situations to simply mean “like very much”.

If we can draw this differentiation between “liking” as a self-centered frame of mind and “loving” as an other-centered frame of mind, we will be able to similarly appreciate that “respect” derives from a self-centered frame of mind: Does the person deserve my respect?  What is it about him or her that is worthy of my respect? In contrast, honour springs from an other-centered frame of mind.

A common situation would help clarify the wellspring of honour. If you were riding an escalator in a city where the convention is to stand on the right, an interesting question is why you yourself stand on the right.  If you were doing so because that is the social convention, then all you are doing is to “follow the crowd”. But if you were standing on the right out of regard for those who may wish to move faster by “overtaking” you on the left, then what you are doing is an act of Honour, an act of other-centeredness.

The Virtuous Circle of Honor

The world would be so much a better place if honour were a natural way of thinking and behaviour.  This is where we enter the virtuous circle of

  • Honour in Individuals (each one being the best he or she can be according to their talents and abilities) leading to
  • Honour in Families (starting with honoring our father and our mother) leading to
  • Honour in Communities (David Halpern, in his book The Hidden Wealth of Nations, forcefully makes the point that “richer nations are happier, yet economic growth doesn’t increase happiness”, and explains the paradox by saying “the hidden wealth of nations – the extent to which citizens get along with others – independently drives both economic growth and well-being.”) leading to
  • Honour in Organizations (which include businesses, social enterprises, and the behavior of leaders) leading to
  • Honour in Nation, which in turn enables Honor in Individuals, and so on.Winning wiht Honour l  The Honour Circle.jpg

This last, “Honor in Nation”, can be explained with the example of Singapore. Singapore is a small country with a population of around 5.5 million and a land area of 278 square miles, a nation with absolutely no natural resources, and smaller than New York City, London or Tokyo.  If you were to look at any map of the world, Singapore would fit quite nicely within the letter “o” of its name. Its population is multi-ethnic, multi-lingual and multi-religious. Pew Research Center found Singapore in 2014 to be the most religiously diverse country in the world.

How has Singapore managed to survive and thrive despite the challenges of geography and demographics? 

The answer lies in Singapore being a brand of trustworthinessBrand Finance, an international brand consultancy firm based in London, named Singapore the strongest nation brand in both 2015 and 2016.

Brand Finance explains, “Nation Brand value is reliant upon GDP (i.e. the revenues associated with the brand).  Singapore’s small size means it will never be able to challenge for the top spot in brand value terms, because its brand simply cannot be applied extensively enough to generate the same economic uplift as ‘brand USA’ for example.  However, in terms of the underlying nation brand strength, Singapore comes out on top.”

The strong Singapore brand springs from two acts of honour as a nation: it is a people and a government who can be trusted to honour their Word – to deliver on their promises, observe the rule of law, protect international property rights, and deliver on quality and excellence – and who honour Each Other – recognizing that ethnicity, language and religion are visceral issues, aspects of life left to individual choice but in a way which does not impinge upon the freedom of others to similarly choose for themselves, and in this way maintain community harmony and social stability.

Succeeding in Work and Life

Success in work and life depends not just on knowledge, experience, competence and skills, but also very much on trustworthiness, reliability and dependability.

Trust, in turn, is founded on Honor, where other-centeredness plays a central role, as against the selfishness and self-centeredness which drives much of the behavior of individuals and organizations all over the world.  

The fundamental premise of Honor is that honor is what we offer others out of consideration for them, with no expectation of getting some reward in return, though it may be an act in “enlightened self-interest” where the resultant goodwill, peace and harmony makes the honoring effort more than worthwhile. Honoring springs from an other-centered frame of mind, much like “love”.

Universities and schools need to help their students understand that success in work and life is more than skills and knowledge. It is essential to be trustworthy and dependable. 

And parents and families should recognize that it is they who will determine whether universities and schools can do this effectively, because they are the ones who create the moral foundations in the home that will make their children accept or reject the message of honor and trustworthiness.

So, if you want to succeed at the work place, and/or want your child to succeed in life: Honour Your Word and Honour the People Around You.

By Lim Siong Guan and Joanne Lim (co-authors of Winning with Honour, and The Leader, The Teacher & You)

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The Significance of the Term “Pioneers of the Next Generation”

 

pioneers-of-the-next-generation

The Committee on the Future Economy recently released their report entitled: “REPORT OF THE  COMMITTEE ON THE FUTURE ECONOMY: The Pioneers of the Next Generation”. The term “Pioneers of the Next Generation” has a very special significance which most Singaporeans would probably miss. Why is this so?

In an Straits Times Op-Ed article that was published on 2 June 2016, “Getting to the Future with Honour”, which I had co-authored, reference was made to a study by Sir John Bagot Glubb called “The Fate Of Empires And Search For Survival” (William Blackwood and Sons, 1978) that was cited in “Winning with Honour” by Siong Guan Lim and Joanne H Lim (Imperial College Press, 2016) in consideration of the  question: Would Singapore Fall?”“

In his study, Glubb studied 11 empires over 3,000 years and found that every empire lasted only about 200 – 250 years. This is mystifying because one could have thought that technology would have allowed the later empires to last longer.

Glubb uncovered the mystery by finding that all the empires went through six stages – the Ages of Pioneers, Conquests, Commerce, Affluence, Intellect, and Decadence – before its eventual decline.

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Each stage has its own characteristics:

  • Age of Pioneers, a period of amazing initiative, enterprise, courage and hardihood.
  • Age of Conquests, where the principal objects are glory and honour for the nation.
  • Age of Commerce, when values start shifting from the self-sacrifice of the initial pioneers to self-interest, and the acquisition of wealth starts taking precedence over everything else.
  • Age of Affluence, where money replaces honour and adventure as the objective of the best young men.
  • Age of Intellect, when business people who had made their wealth seek the praise of others by supporting art, music and literature, and institutions of higher education.
  • Age of Decadence, which comes about due to an extended period of wealth and power, selfishness, love of money, and loss of a sense of duty.

Glubb found that nations decline not because their people do not have a conscience, but because of a weakening sense of duty accompanied by an increase in selfishness and the desire for wealth and ease.

In his study, Glubb stated that the Age of Decadence, the last age before the decline of the nation, is marked by defensiveness, pessimism, materialism, frivolity, an influx of foreigners, the welfare state and weakening of religion.

Glubb affirmed that his analysis of the rise and fall of empires also applied to small states if the small state had also tasted power and affluence.

Many thoughtful people see signs in Singapore of five of the characteristics of the Age of Decadence – namely, defensiveness, pessimism, materialism, frivolity and influx of foreigners, as well as incipient signs of the last two characteristics – namely, the welfare state and the weakening of religion.

Glubb’s basic finding is that nations rise with the energy, determination, and hard work of their people as they seek a better life through affluence; and nations ironically fall after they achieve affluence as they weaken in their imagination and drive for new success.  

The interesting question is whether Singapore can avoid a natural fall after the Age of Affluence by starting a new growth curve with an Age of New Pioneers seeking a new way of success and affluence. This is where the proposed return to the “Age of Pioneers” by the Committee of the Future Economy is of paramount significance and importance for the future of Singapore.

As mentioned on page 363 of “Winning with Honour”, the Age of Pioneers is a period of amazing initiative, enterprise, courage, and hardihood, characterised by an extraordinary display of energy and courage. Pioneers are always ready to improvise, experiment, and innovate as opined by Glubb: “Untrammelled by traditions, they will turn anything available to their purpose. If one method fails, they try something else. Uninhibited by textbooks or book learning, action is their solution to every problem.”

Glubb sagely noted: “ ‘The only thing we learn from  history,’  it has been said, ‘is that men never learn from history’, a sweeping generalisation perhaps, but one which the chaos in the world today goes far to confirm. What then can be the reason why, in a society which claims to probe every problem, the bases of history are still so completely unknown?”

Should Singapore be able to learn the lessons from the history of the human race and successfully break the same patterns constantly repeated over 4,000 years under widely differing conditions of climate, culture, and religion, Singapore would prove itself to be exceptional and unique once again.

Can Singapore break the pattern of decline that has plagued nations over the course of human history?

The answer lies in all of us committing to espouse the ancient virtues of courage, patriotism, and devotion to duty, and ensuring the objects of ambition are glory and honour for the nation and collective whole, and not for self-interest.

Should Singaporeans be willing to learn from history and commit to building a culture of continual innovation and excellence that fills the minds and drives the lives of Singaporeans of every age, Singapore has a chance of creating history by not only defying the odds of developmental history that spells a certain social, economic and spiritual doom, but also defining what it means to be a First World Society where individuals look out for the well-being of each other.

Dare we choose courage over comfort and certainty for the continued success and survival of our nation? This is a question for every Singaporean to answer.

By Joanne H Lim

Photo Credit: https://www.gov.sg/~/media/cfe/downloads/mtis_full%20report.pdf

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Honour Each Day as a New Day!

Saturday, 28 January 2017 marks the first day of the Chinese New Year. In the days leading up to the Chinese New Year, it is tradition for every family that celebrates the Chinese New Year to clean the house thoroughly, and to “get rid of the old to make way for the new”.

Very often, new material things (such as clothes, shoes, bedsheets, furniture, etc) are bought to mark a new beginning.

While it is always nice to have new materials things, it is even more important to take the time to renew our thinking and mindsets. As we had mentioned on page 89 of “Winning with Honour”, it is important to renew our minds as our thoughts lead to our choices, which lead to our actions, and ultimately forms our destiny.

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As articulated by Konosuke Matsushita-san, the founder of Panasonic, in his book, “The Path”, one of the most important mindsets that we should embrace is to greet each day as a new day…not only on New Year’s Day:

“When the New year comes, we feel the sense of a fresh start, an embarking on a new endeavor, the turning over of a new leaf. Fresh starts, new ventures are what we celebrate, not only at New Year’s but at any time.

“The year starts with New Year’s Day, and each day begins when we awake. The dawn of the New Year seems in some way special, even though it is actually the same as any other day. If we could wake up with that sense of starting fresh every morning, then every day would be a kind of New Year.

Greeting every day as a new start can help us think of it as fresh and special, a day to be celebrated.

“Yesterday is yesterday. Today is today. There is no need to let the woes of yesterday weigh down our step today. Let bygones be bygones, and look well to every new day and the new turn of fortune that it brings. It is too much to dwell on the burdens of yesterday; better to meet each morning anew, each as a fresh departure.

“Every new day greeted as a fresh start will be a good day. It is bright and invigorating for those who have a mind that is open, a heart that is humble, and a spirit alive with imagination and creativity.”

As we had shared on Page 103 of “Winning with Honour”:

“Most of us have been abused in our lives in one way or another at some point in our lives, be it psychologically, mentally, emotionally, physically, etc.

“What has happened has happened. There is nothing that we can do about the past. We can choose to react by letting the abuses from the past negatively affect our future, or we can choose to respond maturely by learning from the past to forge a better future.

Remember that life does not owe us anything. No one owes us anything. We are not entitled to anything. We reap what we sow in thoughts and deeds.

Every New Day is Another Chance.png

Every day is a new day is another chance to change your life. Take it, seize it, and try your best to be the best that you can be. If you try your best every day to be the best that you can be, 2017 will surely be your best year yet!

Wishing all our readers who celebrate the Chinese New Year a Blessed Lunar Year of the Rooster…may it be filled with good health, peace, and joy!

By Joanne H. Lim

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Photo Credits:

http://cdn.tinybuddha.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Every-New-Day.png

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Honour Disappointments

honour-disappointment

In our blog last week, I wrote about the importance of honouring our thoughts, and to make a conscientious effort to think honourable, positive, and life-giving thoughts. It is important to honour our thoughts as they affect our choices and actions, which then affect our destiny.

Apart from honouring our thoughts, it is also important to honour our disappointments. As mentioned on page 75 of “Winning with Honour”, disappointment arises when reality does not match up with our expectations.

We are often disappointed because life often does not turn out the way we hope as there is so little in life that we can control. And when things do not go our way, it is important that we re-evaluate and re-adjust our expectations, so that our disappointment does not turn into a bitter seed that reaps fruits of bitterness.

Life is too precious for us to live it with resentment and bitterness.

During times of disappointment, it is important that we choose to keep our spirits up and believe that things will work out for the good, and that instead of being rejected, we are actually being re-directed to something even better.

An award winning allied educator recently shared with us that before he applied to become an allied educator, he had sent in about 40 applications to be a teacher but was disappointed that he was not even granted an interview despite his persistence. Upon a suggestion of a friend, he applied to become an allied educator and soon found that it was right up his alley.

Having found his niche and calling as an effective and efficient allied educator who positively impacts the lives of all the students that comes his way, he is now turning down offers to fulfill his initial dream of being a teacher!

Looking back, he now knows that it was a blessing in disguise that he was not granted those interviews to be, and feels blessed that those rejections actually redirected him to find his true calling in life.

Apart from choosing to believe that our disappointments are redirections and not rejections, it is also important for us to guard against “what if” and “if only” thoughts. These thoughts are dangerous as they keep our focus on the past or on external factors and people that we cannot change or control.

Such thoughts are useless as there are no real answers to hypothetical questions—we have to dare to face facts for what they are, and not live in our remorse or regret, fantasies or imagination. More importantly, such thoughts take our focus off the things that we can control, which will affect our future either positively or negatively.

When disappointments hit us, let us honour them by using the “SBS” method that another allied educator had taught us and that we had shared on page 77 of “Winning with Honour”:

Winning with Honour  l  SBS Method.jpgMay we honour our disappointments and guard our thoughts and our hearts as we begin a new year so that we can make 2017 our best year yet!

By Joanne H Lim

Also published here: https://winningwithhonour.wordpress.com/2017/01/10/honour-disappointments/

Photo credit: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/564x/0f/73/5b/0f735b8a7cdf4ce7ceb6842d9ae55bd8.jpg

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