Life is like a cup of coffee

Every once in a while, we all need an inspirational story and this one goes like this…

A group of alumni, highly established in their careers, got together to visit their old university professor. Conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and life.

Offering his guests coffee, the professor went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups – porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite – telling them to help themselves to the coffee.

When all the students had a cup of coffee in hand, the professor said: “If you noticed, all the nice looking expensive cups have been taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress.

Be assured that the cup itself adds no quality to the coffee. In most cases it is just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink. What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but you consciously went for the best cups… And then you began eyeing each other’s cups.

Now consider this: Life is the coffee; the jobs, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain Life, and the type of cup we have does not define, nor change the quality of life we live.

Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee. Savor the coffee, not the cups!

The happiest people don’t have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything.
Live simply.
Love generously.
Care deeply.
Speak kindly.

Birthday & Thanksgiving

Every year, people around the world celebrate Thanksgiving. For most people born between November 22 to 28, you get to celebrate both Thanksgiving and your birthday approximately once every 7 years based on a calculation by Scott Forbes.

Like Scott, I am also born in late November. November 28 to be exact. So in 2002 and 2013, Thanksgiving falls exactly on my birthday. It will do so again in 2019.

So in the spirit of giving thanks and celebrating my birthday today. I wanted to give thanks to all that matters to me this past year.

To the good

Thanks for picking me up and guiding me through the down moments. For giving me hope and the strength to continue on. For lifting the burden and giving me warmth.

To the bad

Thanks for not causing permanent damage and giving me just enough room to recover. For reminding me never to be complacent and comfortable. For showing me the good through the bad.

To my love

Thanks for standing by me unconditionally and tolerating my whim and fancy. For supporting me through some crazy ideas and silly mistakes. Thanks for your unconditional love and for always being there for me.

To  our dear guardians

Thanks for looking over our family and guiding us through happy and sad times.  For being the friends and family that we are very grateful for. For not giving up as I waver. For simply giving unconditionally.

In the spirit of giving thanks, I encourage you to do the same this year and say thank you to what matters most to you.

Poetry of my life

Spur of the moment inspiration. A short poetry of my life…

I am not lucky but I am more blessed than you can imagine.
I am not rich but I am richer than you can measure.
I have lost and I have gained.
I have seen and I have been blinded.
But the heaven of life is never too far away.
We all make our marks in this world in our own special ways.
If I live to a day when I can tell my story, heaven would be a place not too far away.

Lost and found

It takes someone to have lost something truly precious to understand the happiness of something found.

Today, I miraculously recover something precious that was lost to me more than 9 months back. The joy of having found what I had thought was lost to me forever is truly significant. It certainly felt surreal and unbelievable to me. So to those who have lost and found, realize that while in losing, the joy of having found is equally significant.

Social Credentials

In July 2012, I wrote an article entitled Managing your social profiles is more important than you think and not long after, the social catastrophe of Amy Cheong erupted.

The incident showcase how managing one’s social profile is no longer the responsibility of companies and their social marketing staffs. Your personal social profile is a reflection of your social credentials.

As such, I recap my original article here.

I am often amazed how little care some people have towards building their own social profiles. With a profession in safe guarding and promoting corporate brands at work. I experienced first hand the importance of managing your social profiles in this social media day and age. In speaking with a young CEO over the weekend, here are my advice to her on managing her social profiles:

1. Review all social profiles, protect/delete those meant for family and friends (you have other ways to contact them and vice versa)

2. Build your social profiles based on your current and aspirational job role. Tweet relevantly and connect relevantly on Linkedin.

3. If you need Facebook, make it a Facebook page instead.

4. Keep your social profiles checked (avoid duplicate or multiple accounts). It leads to confusion for everyone out there wondering which is the real you.

5. Post responsibly. The Google Spider will index everything and they will be searchable (for years to come).

The heart of it all

“The heart of it all” is a term I am using to explain the failure of all things.

Why do we say that a company has changed when someone leaves? You feel this because people in the company are its heart. People with plenty of heart add intrinsic value to the company and drive passion for the business. When great people with plenty of heart leave the company, they take their heart and soul with them…thus causing the change you feel. When the company loses heart – morale, spirit and the devotion of the staff falters. The heart falters. This applies not just to companies but relationships, the state of the society and even the family.

Look into the heart of it all and you will find the answer.


As a humble human being, I think we should all listen to opinions from our family and friends.

However, when doing what I believe in at work, I think it is important to sort out the opinions that really matters. Listening to too much/wrong opinions at work (on the project you are working on / developing) can sometimes be the worst thing.

Imagine if Apple had listened to what everyone had to say before launching iphone. It would have been a colossal mistake!

Sometimes, it is better to make a mistake doing what you truly believe in  than to make a mistake following someone else’s opinion.