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firing up all cylinders…

Hi friends,
forgive my lapse over the last 2 days, i’ve been working on ‘improving’ myself.

i’ve just completed a intensive course lasting from 10am to 10pm each day.

it’s been an interesting experience going for the ‘ultimate power selling’ course.

One might wonder why i attended the course considering the fact that i’ve been conducting lots of business and sales courses over the last 2 years.

it’s different when seeing actual practitioners put their actions into practice and a lot of times, I learn more from watching whether a person’s behaviour is consistent with their words (call this a hangover from having studied psychology), and i believe i learned more from watching (and soon modelling, and adopting) the patterns of behaviour I observed in Dennis Wee and his partner Chris Koh.

Photo: Dennis Wee receiving the lifelong learner award from President SR Nathan

Some important tips and reinforcements which I received during the course:
1) The art of closing the sales relies on following up, following up and following up.
2) If you want something badly enough, you will keep working on it, until you achieve it.
3) The first step is always the toughest, the next step is always the easiest.

Sounds simple? The value of going through exercises to reinforce this point is what will keep it in my memory for a long time.

The Dennis Wee group conducts previews for the sales course regularly and it’s suited for either entrepreneurs or those who are working for somebody and wants to make the transition to the next level.

For more info or questions about registering for a free preview, drop me a email.

PS: I have a limited number of copies of his latest book “Get Rich Now” in which he shares 15 wealth-generating techniques. These have been autographed by both Dennis and his co-author Sant Qiu.

A blurb from the book:
“Dennis Wee is one of the biggest names in Real Estate locally. To date, his company, Dennis Wee Group (DWG), is the only home-grown Real Estate company with franchises overseas. In 2003, DWG earned a total revenue of 3.467 billion, a company record high, despite the economic recession.

Through this book, Dr Wee shares 15 vital strategies that propelled him from a secondary 2 drop-out to a millionaire businessman running a highly successful company.”

If you’re interested to learn more about the man, his achievements and most importantly, his strategies, this is the place to start. Email me soon, before all copies are sold.

In the meantime, be well.

the path to ultimate riches

would you like to know the secret to achieving unlimited wealth?

The answer lies between your ears.

No, really. the answer lies between your ears.

While we can’t bring anything with us to the grave, the most important thing we have while we’re alive is our mind.

The mind isn’t necessarily just located within our brain.
I define the mind as the summary of our thoughts and feelings, including our intuition or gut feelings.

Our mind is what lets us dream at night when we go to sleep, what gives us a fresh sense of hope and drive each morning when we wake up (some mornings before tougher than others).

Our mind is the skeleton key which often unlocks unsolvable dilemmas (that is, until they’re solved, then they become minor stumbling blocks, upon later reflection).

Our mind is one of the remaining organs which remains fairly sharp even after the body starts to slow down.

In fact, I’ve just listened to a BBC World Service programme, The Interview (the URL will probably be incorrect after a weekly update) with Carl Djerassi.

Known as the man who created a social revolution, he invented the contraceptive pill, and transformed the lives of millions of women by given them more choice and control over when they had children.

Although he’s aged 82, his voice was vibrant and lucid and bursting with ideas.

Breaking beyond the boundaries of chemsitry, he’s recognised for having an extensive collection of Paul Klee works. His drama “An Immaculate Misconception” has been staged in Singapore by the Singapore Repertory Theatre (SRT).

His website provides an interesting treasure trove of information.

However, the one question i’m wondering about is that if more people learn about the importance of their mind (compared to material possessions), why aren’t more people investing in developing and improving their minds?

Most would probably agree that books can be a good source of information and are, for the most part, affordable.

However, I’ve been wondering why reading is on the decline.
There are few readers in this generation compared to thirty years ago.

Granted there are blips along the way, with the Harry Potter books.
But Harry Potter does not equal a literary tradition.

Why would literature be useful for today’s society?

Besides providing insight into our past (without which we will not be able to navigate through the present into the future), books and the printed word captures the thoughts of our ancestors, the ‘zeitgeist’ or spirit of the times so to speak.

take a challenge and go read a book today.
it might just change how you think, how you feel and ultimately how you live your life.

your inner parent, child and adult

transactional analysis is a school of thought in psychology that helps explain the way we behave.

Extracting the following information from “Being: A Psychology of Self” :

Transactional Analysis:
3 ego states: Parent, Child, Adult:

The Parent is part of yourself that contains all the external events that have happened to you. The parent in you feels and behaves in the same way your mother or father or whoever raised you did. Your parent can be critical, helping or both.

At the same time external events are being recorded in your parent, a second series of recordings is being made simultaneously. The second set of tapes include all of your internal responses to the input of your parent. It is called your child because it includes what you were when you were little. Your child has the same feelings and ways of behaving that you had when you were very young. Your child may be natural, that is on it’s own and not under the influence of your internal parent. or it may be adaptive so as to please your internal parent.

Your adult is the part of you that figures things out by looking at the facts. Your adult is an observer, a computer, and a decision maker. It is capable of looking at events in your life without the prejudices of your parent or the archaic feelings of your child. The adult is then capable of adding up these observations to see what needs to be changed. Your adult can make decisions and act on them. All in all, your adult is the key to personal change.

These 3 people within us (ego states) have some identifying characteristics or stock phrases. Whenever you hear a voice inside you saying ‘you should’ or ‘don’t’ or mouthing slogans such as ‘you can’t win’ or ‘children should be seen and not heard’ it is very likely your parent is talking.

Your child is more likely to say things like ‘i want’ ‘try and make me’ ‘i feel’ or just ‘wow!’

Your adult tends to deal with observable facts and logic such as ‘let’s see now, the most efficient way to proceed would be…’ or ‘now what i hear you saying, John, is that’

Most of the time we’re most aware of the motives of our ‘adult’, however our behaviour could be equally controlled by our parent and child.

What this means is that although we know we ‘should’ do something, if in the end, we slack off on doing it, or we do it obsessively, it could be motivation from our parent or child, although we may not be aware of it.

Unless we focus back on our past experience or childhood.

Researchers are finding out that our past experiences have a great effect on our current behaviour. But what’s more interesting is not just WHAT happened to us when we were younger, but rather HOW we responded to what happened to us.

Take my friend, Adam Khoo, for example.

In his book, I Am Gifted, So Are You!,

As a child in primary school (grade school), he had a bunch of “F” grade and had been expelled for mibehaviour and did so badly he was rejected by all the secondary schools (high schools) he had applied to. In fact, his results typically hovered at 40-55%. Among his entire cohort of 160 students, he crashed in amongst the bottom 10.

How do you think he might’ve turned out?

Destined to a life of disappointment and disdain?

Actually, the result will surprised you.

He experienced a turning point (read the book to find out!) and received ONE idea that had a tremendous impact on him.

Today he’s (extracted from his bio): “A self-made millionaire by the age of 26, He owns and runs 3 different companies with a combined annual turnover of $20 million. He is the CEO & Managing Director of Adcom (S) Pte Ltd (a leading marketing communications and advertising agency), Founder & CEO of Adam Khoo Learning Technologies Group Pte Ltd (a premier training and consulting company that specializes in both corporate training and student education programmes), and the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Event Gurus Pte Ltd (an event management company).”

Adam, in my opinion, is an example that it’s not WHAT happens to us, but rather HOW we react to WHAT happens to us, that determines our success or failure.

Many times, it’s being aware of what our inner parent or child is saying that will help give us a better understanding and help us move up to the next level.

In personality psychology there is the concept of htThe “Wheel of Kookiness” (or wheel of weird).

It goes: It makes no difference whether the feedback someone gives you is valid or invalid. The important thing is whether you come to believe it. If you do, a vicious cycle begins. (and you become ‘weirder’ or worse)
More thoughts: researcher Seligman (1973) says:
One of the most important beliefs that a person can have of himself is that he is not helpless.

And Rother ends this with:
Your belief in yourself, as Rother (1971) has aptly pointed out, tends to be either that the environment controls you, or you it. Depression is a rare occurence for those who believe they have some control over their environment.

[all three extracts from Being: A Psychology of Self (may be hard to find, but libraries should stock copies)]

as if it were your last…

Today (or rather yesterday, Saturday) was a day capped off with a powerful emotional experience at the end.

My wife and I attended Tunnel Through Time, a MHL Production at Kallang Theatre. We left the theatre changed at the end of the experience.

Have you ever thought about how life would be like if it changed in a moment?

What if life was perfect and rosy and a sudden turn of events changed everything you thought you had forever?

I’m sure that how many of the Asian tsunami survivors feel in the aftermath, and also the families of the survivors and victims from that disaster.

Intellectually, I understand, although the pictures on television creates an emotional distance, and we are free to turn off the images when they get too painful.

It’s a whole different perspective when experiencing it in front of your eyes however.

Tunnel Through Time depicts life for the Kinnear family over the past 16 months.

Scotsman David and wife Rohaiyah have just moved to Papua New Guinea where David has been stationed to heard the office in the third world country.

One night, David suffers Extensive Ponitac Brainstem Infarct, a form of stroke. This affects 1 in 5 stroke suffers, with more than 50 percent of sufferers dying from this condition.

Rohaiyah’s entire existence is changed, and amidst the financial strain as the insurance coverage runs out and the emotions drain, she feels the world caving in.

Watching the events unfold, I felt the panic and despair building up and the world turning a blackish shade.

However what make this story different is that Rohaiyah finds the inner strength to focus on her only purpose to help her husband recover and do everything to get him there.

The story is more than about illness, but how human resilience and strength can turn the tide.

Since the production was last staged, it’s raised $24,000 and rather than solicit further funds from the public, the production is being re-staged by MHL Productions to support David’s rehabilitation efforts.

It shows the story when David and Rohaiyah first meet, get married and their darkest hour.

The most powerful part of the production was when David Kinnear was wheeled onto the stage, accompanied by his wife and two children, Jihan and Johan.

I could sense the love and strength emanating from them and most of the audience was in tears as we gave the brave family a standing ovation.

The battle is still not won yet, however, though the Kinnear family will continue to move one step closer towards David’s recovery.

Do visit http://www.tunnelthroughtime.com to find out more about the production and in particular their information page tells more about the family’s story. You can also write to the family at rohaiyahkinnear@yahoo.com.

Donations to the Kinnear family can be made by writing a cheque to “DJKinnear Recovery Fund” and post it to the Kinnears residence directly at:
Blk 2 Delta Ave #24-40
Singapore 160002

The Kinnear family: David (seated), Rohaiyah, Jihan, Johan

As I started this blog I mentioned that we all have about 4,000 weeks to live. Some dramatically more and some dramatically less. We cannot control how long each of us is given, but we can control how we spend the time.

As David himself communicated through a series of eye blinks to Rohaiyah, “Live each day as if it’s your last day”.

And I left the theatre wondering, what more could I do to make a difference.

Be well, everyone.

A Tail of Toilet Paper…

And now for something a little lighter.

About a year ago, I went to Mustafa Shopping Centre (the brick and mortar store, not the website) and wanted to check out some toiletries.

Shopping for toiletries, especially for toilet paper is an art.

It’s also a science.
what you want to do is go for a toilet paper with a high a comfort level as possible.

how is comfort defined?
The formula goes like this: comfort = [frictional coefficient] / [price].
you want to buy a toilet paper which is cheap (price being as low as possible)
while having a very very very low frictional coefficient, else besides removing waste matter from your behind, you’ll also be removing a your anus and rectum.

Tissue Paper

One brand of tissue paper I like is Paseo.

What I like about it is it’s smooth quality and is kinda ‘up market’ looking.
It’s thick and the design looks floral and kinda springtime-y.

The other thing is if you’re having a cold and blowing your nose all the time, this paper won’t not to shred your nose like i’ve experienced with some other brands.

Back to the toilet paper…

I was keeping an eye out for Paseo toilet paper, but it looked like they had been ‘clean out’ so to speak.

I checked out the products on offer.

Most of them looked fairly ‘industrial’ and somewhat reminiscent of sand paper.

I was taken aback when a package of rolls dropped onto the floor with a loud THUD!

Toilet paper hitting the floor with a thud? I crossed that brand off my list and checked out something interesting.

Hmm, a roll of Scott paper. I looked at the price, looked fairly reasonable.

I was feeling a little distrubed however and started to put it back.

“Hey, what are you doing?” the wife asks.

“I don’t think this is for us. It’s just not right.”

“Not right? Why”

“Well, see?” I said, pointing at the picture of the cute doggy.

“What about it?”

“I wouldn’t ever dream of using this paper”

“What????” The wife says

Sighing, I looked at her.

“Think about it for a moment. The thought sickens… I’d rather rub my butt with newspapers”

“Sick is the only word i can come up with. Actually, there’re 3 words. Sick, sick, sick.”

“I mean LOOK at it!!! Would you use a toilet paper used to WIPE A DOG’S BUTT on your own???? I mean it’s fine for the dog and everything, but I DON’T want to use some weirdo DOGGY TOILET PAPER on my ass!”

“You are silly” the wife goes.

“WHAT! Look at it? It’s got a happy dog who just got his butt wiped and I’m not sure about this, but humans and dogs are different. I wouldn’t eat dog biscuits for one!”

“You…you…fool! The dog is the Scott mascot or something. Can’t you see it says “toilet paper” packaging”

“Ah, but it doesn’t say “human toilet paper” does it?”

“I give up” the wife says and walks away

I spend some time looking over the package with doubt in my heart.
the fact that the bag is stamped with a proof of purchase worth “Three Puppy Points” doesnt put my heart at ease either.

Seriously, think about this for a moment. Remember the last time you went to a supermarket and passed the dog food section?

How were the cans labelled?
With a picture of a dog or other animal on the can, right?

Don’t believe me?
Check this out:

It’s Pedigree dog food products.
What do you see on each package and can?
You see either a dog, or a dog or a dog.

How hard can it be to understand that the picture on your packaging is closely associated to the contents of your product or service?

Now think with me for a moment, what would customers think when you print a picture of a dog on your toilet paper. The Scott paper was good by the way, I’ve been buying it regularly for the past couple of months. But what kind of first impression does that make on the potential buyer?

There could be an important reason why the dog appears on the package, however I don’t ‘get it’ in the three seconds I’m looking at the product.

Thinking further afield, I’m fearing the day I see condoms in my 7-Eleven with a picture of a dog on the packaging.

Keeping my fingers crossed that that day will never come,

Have a great and relaxing weekend!

housework r us

ok, hands up, who likes to do housework?

yeah? thought so.

apart for Bree, the prototypical homemaker (housewife is an evil, evil word in our age) in Desperate Housewives, it’s hard to find anyone who genuinely enjoys mopping floors, washing dishes, keeping the house from becoming hades, complete with dust devils.

no, i’m not talking about washing the dishes that one time and saying it’s a ‘therapeutic’ experience, but doing it day in and day out.

however, i have to say that i really enjoy ironing.

lest it be confused with pumping iron, let me state that i enjoy pressing iron (to clothing that is, not to warm flesh…)

there’s something primeval about adding water to the iron’s reservoir, coiling the electric cable like a whip and turning everything on, before the gush of steam jets out of the iron’s vents.

the best part i think is when the iron is pressed onto the clothing and the wrinkled cloth is transformed into the smoothest fabric and it just feels so great against the skin.

i’ve even gone to the extent of ironing my pillow cases and sometimes towels too.

if you’ve never tired it out, go do it once and see the difference.
the smoothness is comforting and the ironing process leaves a particular ‘heat’ scent on the cloth.

of course, the type of iron is important as well, i’ve been using my trusty ‘black and decker’ for the last 5 years or so and it’s served me well.

i particularly like setting the ironing board in front of the tv and going through a couple of hours of recorded programmes. then again, the shows have to be somewhat light entertainment. watching Akira Kurosawa’s Kagemusha (a Japanese take on Shakespeares’ King Lear) or Zhang Yimou’s wuxia (Swordfighting) feature House of Flying Daggers would require my full attention. My linguistic capacity in Mandarin and Japanese leaves a lot to be desired. So too for dramas which are really top class like HBO’s prison drama Oz or cop drama The Shield or circus freak drama Carnivale. For these series, i have to sit down, do absolutely nothing with attention riveted to the screen.

otherwise with almost everything else, it’s just happy ironing with eyes glued to the moving pictures, and a keen awareness of where the iron is at, where the clothing is located and pretty importantly, where my fingers are at.

happy ironing all!