April 25th, 2011 at 10:53 am (Home)
I sent my mother off at the airport at the crack of dawn this morning. After two weeks of visiting she headed back home to the UK and it will be several months before I get to see her again.
In between my work engagements and her hectic schedule calling on family and friends we managed to squeeze in a whole afternoon of one-on-one time yesterday. Just us two, mother and son.
We went to a restaurant to have one of her favourites – Japanese food. We ate to our hearts’ content. We drank copious amounts of green tea. And then we talked. Just talked.
We gossiped about others. We spoke about our difficult moments. We laughed at ourselves. We shared our fears. We nagged each other. We discussed our future plans. We affirmed our love for each other.
My mum’s a special mum. She constantly tells me she loves me. She regularly reminds me how proud she is of me. She indulgently hears me out when I have a problem. She earnestly proofreads my writing. She patiently bites her tongue to let me get over my petulant outbursts. She effusively speaks highly of me. She generously offers her help. She lovingly sends me things she thinks I will need. She gently directs me onto the right path. She tenderly teaches me – humility, forgiveness, love. She devotedly prays for me.
My mum is uncompromising in her love for me. She is resolute in her support of what I do. She is unwavering in her trust of me. She is everything anyone could ever ask for in a mum.
Mum, just as you are fond of reminding me that regardless of whether I am 8 or 38 or 78, I will always be your baby; well, regardless of whether you are here in Singapore or in the UK, you will always be in my heart. You will always be my mummy. I love you mum.
April 11th, 2011 at 3:33 pm (Home)
One is an Asian student juggling music and studies in a local junior college. Another is a Singaporean mother looking to reenter the corporate world. The third is successful Middle Eastern business owner diversifying his product offerings.
They had all come to me for help yesterday (via Skype, phone and Facebook chat respectively – the wonders of modern technology in aiding communication!) and they were all seeking strategies and ideas to move forward in their respective areas.
But there was something else they had in common. They did not know why they wanted to do what they wanted to do. That’s a powerful question to ask. Why. And it is one that even organizations grapple with. When I ask companies requesting, say, leadership training or motivational talks why, many have difficulty in answering.
Is it only because you have a company framework? Or you have a new KPI that measures performance? Is it only because that seems to be the ‘right’ or expected thing to do? Or you are trying to catch up with everyone else who seems to be doing it?
These might generate busyness and activity, but they are not enough. What gets you up in the morning? What gets you fired up? What sort of difference does this make? With what do you resonate? How critical is this? Where does your passion lie? These are some of the questions that help you think about the why of what you do. What is it that makes this your business (purpose) and drives inspired action?
As all three of them discovered yesterday, it is not an easy question to answer. So when they began to form some clarity around what they find passion and purpose in, life takes on a different dimension and problems become possibilities. We thrive, not just survive. I commonly get asked how I maintain my youth to look so young, where I get the energy to take on new adventures and challenges, how come I carry a wide smile and am so positive about life. Perhaps you are better off asking yourself the why question. You might stumble upon a treasure trove.
Life is simple. It is just not easy.