Five years ago, I was inspired by Andrew Chow to reflect on the year that has passed, then select and share the top 10 highlights of the year.
As I reflect on 2017, I continue to praise our Creator and give Him all the glory for another wonderful year.
2017 is one of the best years in my life.
I feel like the dots of the past are being connected to create crescendos of praise and worship, gratitude, purpose, service, contribution, achievement, fun and fulfillment.
While I’m excited about the blessings in 2017, I believe that the best years have yet to come.
Throughout the year, I’ve grappled with many possibilities and come to grips with opportunities that will take me to a higher level.
I’ve met many wonderful people and developed great relationships with them.
I’ve also had many great experiences that gave me a heightened sense of purpose, meaning, excitement and fulfillment.
I had a hard time picking the top ten highlights for 2017 because there were too many highlights and all of them were exciting for different reasons.
After a long deliberation, here’s my final shortlist.
The highlights in the shortlist are not listed in order of priority.
1. Journey of Learning, Improvement and Growth
In 2016, I continued my learning journey as a work-in-progress – a journey to improve my personal and professional life, and enhance my growth and contribution to humanity.
I continued to invest time, money and effort to meditate, reflect, pray, read, journal, attend classes and seminars, seek coachings and mentorship, ask questions, teach, network, learn online, write, brainstorm, create and innovate, participate in mastermind groups, advise, consult, visit exhibitions, and practise many other ways to improve myself.
Entrusted my life to our Creator to help me maximize my potential and bring out the best in me.
So far, I’ve completed a doctorate degree, two masters’ degrees, a bachelor degree, and nine other professional qualifications.
Attended many other learning programmes and have benefitted immensely from them.
Having said that, please note that I’m not on a paper chase. I’m among the last to believe that exams and grades should be allowed to define our lives.
Truth be told, I’ve lost most of my educational certificates.
I appreciate the values of lifelong learning to help me stay relevant and become an important net contributor to the people and environment around me.
I believe in the battle cry – learn or die!
In other words, the day that you stop learning is the day you start to decay and die.
Therefore, continue to learn until the last day of your life.
After another year of learning, I feel young and like a totally new person.
In 2018, I plan to read many books and craft deeper reflections about life, services and achievements.
I will also be pursuing many other learning opportunities and experiences.
I thank all my teachers, including those who had crossed my path for only a brief moment, for sharing their thoughts, experiences and lessons with me.
Please continue to teach me.
Join me in my “Slow Learners Club”?
2. Journey of Firing Up Dreams and Acting On Them
I’m a firm believer that dreamers create and re-create a better world.
The quality of their dreams can determine the quality of their lifestyles and achievements.
I’ve always taught my students to become visionaries and dream a Humongous, Electrifying, Life-Changing, and Magnetic (HELM) dream.
Such a dream will stretch them and help them to be passionate about their dreams and lives.
The dream will also help to change their lives and attract people to help them turn the dream into reality. Correspondingly, it’ll attract them to take massive actions to turn their own dreams into reality.
After my second “retirement,” I crafted a new dream.
To help generate more financial donations for a good cause than Mr. Bill Gates (Go ahead and laugh. I can take it).
The plan is simple.
I endeavor to inspire selected people to earn more than $10,000,000 so that they will give away at least $1,000,000 to charity.
I have conducted different ways of helping many people on a pro bono basis. They include seminars, mentorships, coachings, and trainings as well as advisory, counselling, and befriending sessions.
I want to inspire entrepreneurs, community leaders, students, and other deserving participants to achieve greater successes and fulfillment.
In doing so, they will donate their time, talents and treasures, including money to charity.
In 2017, I’ve spoken to more people in closed door sessions than I’ve ever done in my life.
I believe at some point, my dream will come true but more importantly, the world will become a much better home from it.
I’m excited about my goal. It has unleashed me for a life of passion, energy, and massive actions.
3. Journey of Fighting Poverty
Since 1972, when I was still in school and an idealistic boy (I’m still idealistic), I wanted to help eradicate two of the biggest problems in the world – poverty and war.
I thought to myself, if I could eradicate poverty, I would be able to eradicate war.
After all, if nobody is in need of anything, they would stop killing one another, wouldn’t they?
Much later, I learned from gurus such as the late Dr. Buckminster Fuller that there are adequate resources to eradicate poverty.
However, if you offer these resources, including money to the poor, many of them will eventually be poor again.
They will waste their money away and perhaps, that’s one of the key reasons why they are poor in the first place. They will not be inclined to learn, improve, and take action.
The poor don’t need a handout, they need a helping hand.
More than anything else, they need to improve their financial literacy/intelligence.
Financial intelligence is defined as the ability to create, save, invest, grow, protect, and spend money wisely.
Improving financial intelligence is one of the most effective ways to eradicate poverty.
The desire to help others improve their financial intelligence was a key driving factor in getting me to go back to school again.
I pursued a doctorate course of study and completed a dissertation revolving around financial intelligence at the University of Southern California in 2015.
I aim to leverage on the knowledge and expertise that I’ve received over the years to mentor, train, coach, and guide others to improve their financial position and results.
I hope to inspire others and even governments, non-governmental organizations, enterprises, religious organizations, and other entities to join me to improve financial literacy level and fight poverty.
Together, we can eradicate poverty.
Someday, the next generation will point to our generation and say, “That was the generation that got their act together. They joined hands together, fought poverty, and relegated poverty to history.”
In the near future, a small kid will visit a museum and point to exhibits on poverty and ask his parents, “What is poverty?”
The fight against poverty continues…
4. Journey of Moulding and Shaping Young Lives and Contributing to Society
As Chairman of Junior Achievement Singapore – a charity that conducts life skills training for students – I’m happy that we have enrolled more than 1700 volunteers to help us trained more than 110,000 students so far.
We trained young people in skills such as entrepreneurship, financial literacy, success, and work effectiveness skills on a pro bono basis so that they will be in a better position to succeed at work and in life.
I have also started teaching entrepreneurship, investment and other life skills.
I look forward to more opportunities to share my knowledge and skills with even more people in 2018.
5. Journey of Great Investments
As an active investpreneur, despite everything that doomsayers and naysayers had said, I enjoyed one of the highest ROIs in 2017.
I continued to invest in properties, businesses, stocks and other instruments of investments.
Over the years, my portfolio of investments has risen exponentially in total nett asset value.
Financial investment is not rocket science. You don’t have to fight “Star Wars” to achieve tangible and sustainable results.
There are sound investment strategies and techniques that you can use to strengthen your financial position and assets.
I’m happy that my business start-up blew my mind away with its financial bottom line.
Within 2.5 years, I believe our business can qualify to win an Enterprise 50 Award.
Unfortunately, we are too young and can only show two sets of audited accounts for the competition.
I wish more people will aspire to learn more about business and financial investment so that they can live a better life and increase their donations for worthwhile causes.
6. Journey of Teaching Others about Investments
In 2017, I have decided to step up my commitment to teach more people on how to invest and improve their financial income, competence, and growth.
The paradoxical truth is that the more I teach, the more I believe I am able to learn and become a better entrevestor.
What’s more, I can hunt as a pack with students. We can help each other source better opportunities, manage threats, and generate better returns.
In my passionate quest to help them achieve better returns, I have discovered some great investment strategies.
I’m testing these strategies in the field right now to make sure they work.
As I have always said, it only takes one good investment idea to make tons of money. And I have a few of them in my arsenal now.
In 2018, I plan to make my disciples fall off their chairs and jump with joy with some radical investment breakthroughs.
Look out for it!
7. Journey of Improving My Thought Processes and Inspiring Others through Writing
Since young, I had struggled with speaking and writing proper English, and I’m still struggling with it.
In 2017, I continued to develop and improve my writing skills through journaling, blogging, writing to the press, posting on my website, and crafting comments on social media.
I’m glad that I was once chosen as a “Writer of The Week” by The Straits Times.
Besides writing to the public, I continue to provide feedback to the Government as a responsible and active citizen.
I’m not shy to share my two cents’ worth on how to improve the community and country.
I’ll continue to do my small little part to strengthen Singapore’s position as one of the most admired countries in the world.
In total, I have crafted more than 2500 organic, zero-calorie, hypoallergenic, contaminant-free, and purely organic Love Notes to inspire readers to make full use of their lives and live a full life.
In this coming year, I aim to complete a few more items on my bucket list.
I want to produce a table-top book of inspiring messages and a CD of at least 10 original songs with lyrics adapted from my writings. I’ll also be writing a home-study manual for investment and producing a series of short multimedia learning programmes.
8. Journey of Public Service and Contribution
I have provided leadership and advisory services to charities, a national sports association, a family service centre, grassroots organizations, professional bodies, a government-appointed forum, and other non-government organisations.
On 9 August 2016, together with some friends, we started SG Serve, another charity to look after the poor, needy and disadvantaged.
I’m very proud of our volunteers for turning SG Serve into a national movement and it’s still growing at a faster pace than expected.
Through the two centers at Little India, we continue to look after the physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and vocational needs of our migrant workers.
In addition, I have also been involved in raising funds for local charities and crisis relief efforts.
In 2017, together with a group of friends, we had organised an educational seminar at the Suntec Convention Centre to raise funds for the victims of Typhoons Haima and Nock-ten in the Philippines.
We also ran a charity dinner in the Grand Ballroom at the Orchard Mandarin Hotel for SG Serve and the Wrestling Federation of Singapore.
I continued to be a “professional beggar” for good causes and have helped to raise more than $300,000 to fund different charity projects in 2017.
Fundraising is not the easiest of work. It’s certainly not a task that most of us would like to do but it has to be done to ensure the survival and success of any charity body.
I organise these fundraising projects as a way to inspire others to actively participate in and support a good cause. When they seek to bless others, they will be blessed too.
So, if I come to you and “beg” you for donation, please don’t find an excuse to put down the phone or run away from me. I don’t have that many friends left to “abuse” now. Lol!
If possible, send me a private message now to donate to our next few charity projects in 2018, starting with raising of funds to support crisis relief efforts for victims of natural disasters, new projects to organise regular gatherings for the elderly, food distribution programmes, and other charity projects.
I am grateful to be given the opportunity to be of service to different communities and the society. These involvements have enriched my life and made me a better person.
My team and I are honored to receive the Champion of Good recognition from the National Voluntary and Philanthropy Centre (NVPC).
9. Journey of Transforming the Business World
On 1 July 2011, my wife and I exchanged most of our shares in a public-listed real estate company for an 8-figure worth of money. The news has been splashed all over the mass media.
I walked out of the industry (退出江湖) a totally free man. Free to do whatever I want and have whatever time and resources needed to do it.
Many of my friends patted me on my back. They sent me many compliments and accolades.
They congratulated me and looked up to me as a model of their dream. A dream of every entrepreneur to take a company public, hand it over to a capable and resourceful leader, and move on to pursue the best of life.
Even my competitors who obviously hated me like poison in the past said words such as, “All the barbs we threw at you were just business. Nothing personal.
“You’re a good guy and you deserve to retire from the industry at the top and to enjoy a wonderful life ahead. Well done!”
Subsequently, I went on to accomplish many other dreams and ticked off many items off my bucket list.
They included completing my doctoral studies; raising funds to help start at least 5 charity centres; and supporting many other humanitarian and philanthropic initiatives.
Traveling around the world. Dining in the finest restaurants. Having fun in the best playgrounds.
Mentoring many successful investors and entrepreneurs. Investing in a few promising businesses.
Helping to list another company in the US.
Working on helping other entrepreneurs to grow their businesses. Teaching business owners and CEOs to list their companies on a reputable securities exchange.
Giving lectures to thousands all over the world. Crafting many of my thoughts, experiences, and learning lessons on paper.
While I was enjoying my life, there was yet a void in my heart. There was something else I needed to do.
I did not feel that I was blessed so that I can just have a good life.
Deep in my heart, a dream was beginning to take shape. A higher calling was stirring in my being.
I did not fully understand this dream and the calling until awhile later.
Our founding father, the late Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, once quoted, “The human being needs a challenge, and my advice to every person in Singapore and elsewhere: Keep yourself interested, have a challenge.”
After talking to my counsellors and advisors, I affirmed again that I have one keen interest – entrepreneurship and investment.
Every molecule in my body shouts a business message. If you cut my veins, don’t be surprised that business opportunities will flow out.
Truth be told, I left the business world but the business world never left me.
In 2018, I plan to be proactive in the business world. There’s an unfinished business to be completed.
It’s not only about pioneering new business models. Not about growing companies. And absolutely nothing to do with profits – although all these are critical and important.
I believe with all my heart that if we are going to turn the world upside down or right-side up, we need a fourth key – every one of us in the business world.
When the private sector works closely with the public and people sectors, we can overcome challenges that the world is facing.
If every one of us join hands together and do our part to spread more love, compassion and kindness, we can make our world a better home.
We can also inspire a new generation to put to right all the wrongs in society. We can leave a better world for our children and our children’s children.
That’s why, I AM BACK (我重出江湖了)!
10. Journey of “Changing Lives Globally”
In 1990, my partner and I had a simple dream.
The simple dream? To change the world through world-class education.
Specifically, to engage world-class gurus to deliver cutting-edged messages to help our fellow humans change their lives and the world around them.
Today, Success Resources has customers from every continent except the Arctic and the Antarctic. (We are still waiting for the polar bears to register for our seminar to upgrade themselves. Lol!)
From President Bill Clinton, Prime Minister Tony Blair, Richard Branson, Donald Trump, T. Harv Eker to Robert Kiyosaki, we have worked with some of the best in the world.
We have become arguably the largest personal seminar organizer in the world.
As a publicly listed company on ASX, we will press on in pressing on to fulfil our corporate mission – “Changing Lives Globally.”
As long as there is one more person, one more community, one more country in need of improving and achieving better results, we will be there. The revolution continues…
Looking to the future, I’m excited about my dream, vision, plan, action, and experience.
In conclusion, I want to say that deep in my heart, I want to fulfil our Creator’s blueprint for my life.
I want to continue to reach out to ordinary persons on the street and help them live an extraordinary life.
I’m grateful for and thankful to our Creator, my family, friends, colleagues, customers, and partners.
All of you have walked the journey with me and 2017 has been a great year. I have enjoyed every single moment of the journey and I’m thankful to each and every one of you for leading me, and standing by and behind me.
As the original Kampong Ah Boy (and now Kampong Ah Pek), I would never have imagined then that I would one day have a chance to travel all over the world, dine with Presidents and Prime Ministers, learn from world-class gurus, and enjoy the finest that life can offer.
I wrote this reflection in a hotel while having an overseas retreat with some of my colleagues and having a wonderful time.
My heart is filled – and in fact, overwhelmed – with gratitude, thankfulness, and appreciation for everything in my life.
I’m a work-in-progress and far from perfect.
Please forgive me if I have done anything wrong to you.
In 2018, please continue to teach me. Help me to live by one of my values:
The best way to live my life is to live my life for others. The more I reach out to bless the others, the richer and better my life will become.
By the love and grace of our God, I plan to make 2018 the best year ever in my life.
I’ll continue to fulfil my vision to build more dream-chasers, value-multipliers, change-makers, and world-beaters.
What about you? How do you plan to make 2018 the best year in your life?
I hope this message will find a place in your heart.
By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.
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Life is FUNtastic!