Be Your CEO

Sometimes, I sense that there are many parts within me – multiple selves that seem to be at war with one another.

A part of me wants to laze around and sleep; another is driven to do something productive.

A part of me is contented with living a simple life; another wants to experience life to the fullest.

A part of me craves for certainty and sense of being in control;  another is easygoing and readily goes with the flow.

A part of me gets upset easily; another is as cool as a cucumber.

A part of me likes to dream and imagine the unimaginable; another gets realistic and pragmatic.

A part of me is disciplined and consistent; another is a serial procrastinator.

Deep down, I know it’s up to me to pick up the mantle and take the lead.

It’s up to me to be the conductor of this orchestra and turn the cacophony into a symphony.

It’s up to me to be the captain and get the different players to play together as a cohesive team.

It’s up to me to be the CEO of Me Inc. and harness these diverse forces to live a good life and be a force for good in the world.


Why not now?

The reasons dreams remain unfulfilled, intentions unmanifested, goals unmet, habits unchanged, and desires unsatisfied are many.

They come in various forms and guises – perfectionism, procrastination, contemplation, deliberation, planning, preparing, strategizing, prioritizing, etc.

No matter how valid or convincing they may be, few could withstand a penetrating truth that … there’s probably no better time to start acting on our dreams and intentions than NOW.

If not now, when?


Constraints Spur Creativity

The act of creating is about bringing something into being. It often begins with nothing – a blank page.

Staring at the blank page can be liberating. On a virgin field of infinite possibilities, anything is possible.

But when inspiration runs dry and the muse is nowhere to be found, it can be unsettling. Anything is possible, but where to begin?

That’s when constraints come to the rescue.  In such times, constraints are not constraining. They shepherd the aimless mind towards the opening to a new possibility.

Today, I experimented with embracing the constraints of taking one shot at drawing one subject (Milo), with one Sharpie, one dot at a time.

Embrace the constraints and let them spur your creativity.

“Constraints can spur creativity and incite action, as long as you have the confidence to embrace them.”

~ Tom Kelley

Return to Centre

When things are spinning out of control and the ground on which you are feels shaky

When changes become unbearable and the odds are stacked against you

When critics are having a field day on you and naysayers fill your mind with self-doubt

When your effort seems futile and progress eludes you

When conversations seem pointless and people can’t seem to understand you

When the to-do list is piling up faster than you could tick them off and deadlines seem endless

Don’t lose heart. Pause, take a deep breath, and return to centre.

When you are centred and have your balance restored, it would be easier go with the flow and respond more effectively to difficult, stressful, or challenging situations.

When you are centred, you’ll find that the none of these is personal. That’s just the way life is.

Don’t lose heart. Pause, take a deep breath, and return to centre.

“Flow with whatever may happen and let your mind be free. Stay centered by accepting whatever you are doing. This is the ultimate.”

~ Zhuangzi

Cherish the Ordinary

Today is just another ordinary workday – a stark contrast to a hectic Lunar New Year holiday filled with non-stop reunion meals and meaningful conversations with family and friends.  Just a couple of Zoom calls to attend, emails to clear, and some work to be completed. 

No drama.  Nothing spectacular happened.  Strangely, it’s remarkably relaxing, peaceful, and enjoyable.  I get what Khalil Gibran meant when he wrote “Work is love made visible.”

For Milo, every day is ordinary, and yet he seems happy and contented most of the time. Perhaps, he has discovered the secret to happiness through cherishing the ordinary.

“There are many more ordinary hours in life than extraordinary ones.  We wait in line at the supermarket.  We spend hours commuting to work. We water our plants and feed our pets.  Happiness means finding a moment of joy in those ordinary hours.”

~ Haemin Sunim

Different Yet Similar


We don’t always see eye to eye with each other, for we see the world differently.

What is important to you might be trivial to me.

What is food to you might be bitter poison to me.

What you hate might be what I love.

What is OK for you might not be OK for me.

What is right for you might be wrong for me.

Clearly, we are different. We are two unique individuals, each with a mind of their own. But deep beneath these differences, we are more similar than we appear to be.

We share the innate human capacity to think and to feel, to love and to hate, to laugh and to cry, to dream and to act, to reach out and to withdraw, to judge another and to seek to understand each other.

Beneath our differences, there is solid common ground on which we could stand together to explore our differences with an open mind and searching heart.  Shall we meet there?

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about. Ideas, language, even the phrase ‘each other’ doesn’t make any sense.”

~ Rumi

Limitless within Limits

“You have the freedom to be yourself, your true self, here and now, and nothing can stand in your way.”

~ Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull

We are free to choose our thoughts, within the limits of our knowledge, beliefs, and imagination.

We are free to choose our speech, within the limits of our courage for authentic self-expression and mastery of language.

We are free to choose our actions, within the limits of our capacity and skills to act, and our willingness to accept and be responsible for the consequences of our actions.

Within these limits, the possibilities are limitless. 

We are also free to choose to remain within these limits or to transcend them. What would you choose?


Finishing is Sweet

The new moon in Aquarius has emerged today. This year, it also coincides with the start of the Lunar New Year. New moon and new year – they almost always present us with an opportunity for a ‘fresh start.’ It also gives us a second chance to play catch up with the New Year resolutions or intentions made at the start of 2022 that we have either forgotten or failed to act on.

Whilst it’s tempting to ‘press restart’ with a renewed sense of optimism, perhaps it’s helpful to harness the energies of this Aquarian lunation to finish what we have started. Don’t wait for that elusive ‘someday.’ Stop procrastinating.

When it comes to finishing, done is better than perfect. The transition from a ‘work-in-progress’ to a ‘finished product’ might be subtle, but crossing the finishing line is a significant milestone, like the birth of a child. The creation takes on a life of its own.

There’s something sweet about finishing – a sense of fulfilment, achievement, and closure. It is complete. And we can now move on to something else without the lingering thoughts of incompletion.

I’ve always been inspired by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s quote: “Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.”

And now, I would add my own: “Whatever dreams you have begun pursuing, finish them. Finishing has joy, liberation, and sweetness in it.”

Now, give yourself the sweet gift of finishing, will you?


Speak Your Mind

Speak your mind. I want to hear your perspectives, and I want to see the world through your eyes.

Speak your mind. I want to know what you truly think, and I want to know what’s really going on for you.

Speak your mind. I don’t want you to hold back the truth from me even if it hurts, and I don’t want any unspoken truth to create a rift between us.

Speak your mind. I’m not a mind reader, and I don’t want to second guess you.

Speak your mind. I want to have an open and honest relationship with you, and I want to know that you can trust me.

Speak your mind. I want you to feel safe around me, and I want to feel safe around you.

Speak your mind. I want to know the real you, and I promise to be real to you too.

Speak your mind. I want to have an open and honest relationship with you, and I want to know that you can trust me.

Speak your mind. I want you to feel safe around me, and I want to feel safe around you.

Speak your mind. I want to know the real you, and I promise to be real to you too.



Follow Your Curiosity

Recently, a good friend and I have been inquiring into the merits of ‘living life to a plan’ vs. ‘living life without a plan and let life reveal it.’

Planning isn’t my forte.  I confess to a bias towards spontaneity. I would choose a free-and-easy backpacking trip anytime over a planned holiday with a detailed itinerary.  I love the idea of ‘getting lost to find myself.’ 

The notion of ‘career planning’ is absolutely alien to me.  Perhaps I lacked ambition and a clear sense of direction.  What I lacked, was compensated by a natural tendency to follow my curiosity, resulting in a professional journey that is largely a product of serendipity and divine coincidences.  Whenever a trusted source drops me some breadcrumbs, I would follow.  

Fresh out of college, I bumped into a friend who said casually, “Check out Andersen Consulting. They do quite interesting work.”  That led me to my first job in management consultancy.  A couple of years later, whilst talking about a café I was about to start, a good friend who mistook the title of a book I was working on as the name of the café said, “Gone Fishing is a beautiful name.” That’s how the café got its name and our customers nicknamed me ‘The Fisher’ (ironically, I don’t even love fishing).

Another year later, over coffee, I shared with another friend about an epiphany on what I found brings me immense joy, meaning, and fulfilment, he said, “Hey, if your life is about helping others to live fully, check out this thing called ‘coaching.’”  With that, I meandered into the world of professional coaching, and subsequently, leadership consulting and organizational development.

Most recently, after seeing some random photos of Milo (our family cat ) which I shared on our team’s WhatsApp, a dear colleague said, “You should start an Instagram account for your cat.” I listened, and @The_Miloist was conceived.

Do I believe in the merits of having a plan? Oh yes! If we don’t plan our holidays ahead, block out the calendar, book the flights and make hotel reservations, it’s very likely that it won’t happen.  At work, if we try to execute a project without a plan, it won’t take long before disaster strikes.  “Fail to plan, and plan to fail” is a timeless wisdom that only fools would ignore. 

Structure and spontaneity are both needed in life, just at different places and at different times.  Have a plan when helpful, and let it go or go without one when it is not.  An avid explorer would not set forth on an expedition without adequate planning and would not expect that everything will turn out as planned.

Perhaps, the answer to the question “To plan or not to plan” isn’t about choosing one over the other, but learning to dance with them and living with the perennial tension between two equally essential elements in life. 

Follow your curiosity. Venture into the unknown. Explore the uncharted territory. Listen with your heart.  Let your soul be your pilot. And see where it takes you. Be warned that joyful discovery, risks, and challenges are all part of the journey.

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.”

Helen Keller