Driving – lessons to learn

10, April, 2008

Well, life has been busy, sufficiently busy to compel me to be on a more-or-less highly organised track of my life; so much so I have less time to write.   Anyways, begining from here, I intend to start another topic.  I call it, “Driving and life skills”.

Why this topic?  It was about four days ago, I was driving down this expressway, a long, straight, uneventful stretch of road, usually.  Then as I was driving,, I chanced upon the fact that we could learn to live our lives with analogies that we pick up from driving.  For instance, what does being on ‘cruise mode’ mean?  What does it mean when someone suddenly overtakes you, and cuts in just metres in front of you.  What do the road signs and warning messages along the road?  More than just for motorists to take heed of, I do believe that driving adds alot to how we could manage our lives.

Wow, you may think, John is going nuts!  Running your life with thoughts from driving the four-wheelers?

Hey, with analogies, we can all learn to better ourselves.  And with analogies from managing the steering wheel, it can mean a whole of life lessons that challenges us to love life, and love it more.


Happy reading… driving and life skills is found on Category D.


Training myself – through reflection and taking stock

2, February, 2008

Well, into the second month of 2008 already, and what have I done so far? Alot! I have been kept busy, with only a little breathing space here and there. In fact, so well-kept that I have forgotten about this thing called reflection. It is the essence of self-reflection that enhances one’s life skills. It is in self-reflection that you become better in that which you reflect on. I call it self-training.So, just this afternoon, experiencing a dry spell, when I could no longer push on… my mind simply refused to focus, I decided to just sit still, and ‘listen’, really ‘listen’ to whatever that’s happening around me. And then I realised that I needed this time to simply reflect. As in Peter Senge’s five principles of Personal Mastery – forging a personal vision, pushing on in creative tension, realising your structural conflict, commitment to the truth and using your subconscious – using your subconscious is essentiality the perspective of self-reflection and stock-taking.

You see, when you use your subconscious, you are allowing yourself time to sit back, and think through what you have done so far – whether in specifics (particular to situations or events that have happened) , or generally (as in what’s happening to your life or what you have done in recent times). As you reflect, you begin to either justify or rationalise things that you did right or wrong. You should also stop rationalising and justifying, and objectively seek to know what have gone wrong (or not appropriately done), and how they may be done better the next time you have another opportunity to work at it similar things. In so doing, you are allowing yourself to become better.

As for me, allowing myself to sit back and ‘listen’ to my five-year old boy playing with his ‘hot-wheel’ racing cars, and the military toy vehicle helped me to see the light-hearted, carefree lifestyle in him. Yap, that should be how his life should be right now – having fun. I wish to have that too… :). I also had the opportunity to ‘listen’ to my daughter de-stressing herself, in front of the piano. She played Jay Chou’s tune quite nicely, and I must say I like it. As I also de-stressed with ‘listening’ to them, I began to realise that this simple activity brought back life to me. Life is not just work. We must allow our mind to relax, to think things through; to reflect on relationships – friends and loved one whom we have conflicts with, and seek to find out how we could ‘mend’ those conflicts.

By the way, listening to her playing it also brings out another principle of ‘using your subconscious’. When she first played a tune, she felt awkward because she was unfamiliar with it. As she pushed herself and practiced it many more times, she became better and better at it, until it became a ‘part of her’. The conscious effort in the beginning (of playing the tune right) has become a subconsious control (a state of the subconscious taking over). What happens from hereon, to become even better, is progressing with added emotional element in playing the tune.

Well, that’s it – Peter Senge’s principle of Personal Mastery – on Using Your Subconscious. Readers, life skills development begins here, and goes on from here; it does not end…till our last breath, on earth…:). As for me, i have the opportunity to rest, take stock and move on… as in penning down my thoughts here. Adieu…

The Finale of the year-long preparation – Singapore Marathon 2007

3, December, 2007

(Click on title above, “Life Skills and Service Excellence” to view the entire site.)

Well, Singapore Marathon 2007 is finally over. For many, especially those who participated in the run, it would have been a time to remember for many months to come.

For most of the avid runners, preparing for The Marathon of the Year has been exhilarating. And culminating from it all – Singaporeans and the citizens of the world saw something like 40 000 runners completing the stretch of 10-km (quarter marathon), 21-km (half marathon) or 42-km (full marathon); with the winner, Kenyan Elijah Mbogo of the full marathon touching the finishing line at 2.14.41… just 2 seconds ahead of another Kenyan, Amos Tirop Matui. You would be surprised to know that this was his second marathon, and he won it! No doubt about – that Africans reigned in this event, as in other track-and-field challenges. Historically, the Africans were known to be super strong runners and if you want to know why, there are several sites that actually give you pretty good reasons for it – from livelihood to ticket out of poverty… click on this link – Why are Kenyans Fast Runners? You may also want to read, and then contribute to Yahoo! Answers – Why Kenyans are Such Great Athletes?

Singaporeans, not too bad either; The first man to come in was Daniel Ling at 2.46.31 and the first lady at Vivien Tang at 3.010.37. Hey, i would have come far far far behind… 🙂

Well, win or not, the real reason for us going into such runs has always been two-fold – to keep fit, and to set a personal record. For many of us, crossing the finishing line is a personal goal for alot of us. I particularly like what appeared as the last line of the report in Channel NewsAsia by Margaret Perry – Just crossing the line was a big enough prize. You see, it’s about personal mastery. It’s about fulfilling a personal goal within the realm of personal vision.

As for me, I did not make it there, because the doctor advised me not to run (not that I risk death if I do it…). I just feel, though, that I should try it next year. Let’s see… if I still have that strong desire for a quarter or half-marathon. I must also be watchful and make sure that my condition is not aggravated.

Singapore Marathon 2007 – Race Route

1, December, 2007

(Click on title above, “Life Skills and Service Excellence” to view the entire site.)

I noticed some of you have been accessing my site looking for the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2007 Race Route.

I am sorry I do not have it… but I could point you to the main site which has it – Click on the image below to bring you to the site –

Singapore Marathon 2007

Special Press Report on Singapore Marathon 2007 (2nd December 2007)

1, December, 2007

(Click on title above, “Life Skills and Service Excellence” to view the entire site.)

Have you read the special report on Singapore Marathon 2007 – which was published in the Straits Times on 30 November 2007 (Friday)? If not, you should try to get hold of one to read. Inspiring indeed to know of avid marathon runners ranging from age 17 to 77 years old! Well, read the summary below if you are unable to get hold of one.

Dierdre Grace Morgan, at 17 years, is training to be a distance runner. She has so far ran three 10-km races. For this third-time runner, she aims to finish it in under fifty minutes.

Christopher Tan, a 37-year old CEO of a wealth management company, has his mind set on the clock as he runs. As part of his personal goal-setting target, he intends to keep his run to within a time.

Tan Kheng Hua, our Mediacorp actress, at 44 is participating in the StandChart’s “Run for a Cause” – to raise money for the Autistic Association of Singapore. Her stand for distance running – “… runs… has never been about endurance, but more for a cause or about fun”. I am certainly to hear this from her. By the way, she’s known to articulate very well in English in the media circle.

Then we have this 77-year old Mr Chan Meng Hui, who has been running since he was 55 years old. He has done over seventy marathon races so far! An avid marathon runner indeed, he runs to keep fit, and his desire has always been to cross the finishing line, NOT WINNING. This year alone, he’s done five marathon races. Weight-wise, he’s proud to make it known that he down to 45-kg, from that of 65-kg when he started his first run. So, guys and gals, if you are ever into weight-watching, heed what he said. And yes, he’s also stayed away from deep-fried food and does not consume alcohol.

So, friends and readers out there, if you haven’t yet participated in any marathons, you may like to consider starting next year – Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2008. Good time to consider and start to gear up for it, especially when you have not been running for a long while, or when your runs are only for short distance… like chasing after a bus which is about to pick up from the bus-stop or the MRT train… 🙂

Singapore Marathon 2007 – forgot to collect your REP?

30, November, 2007

(Click on title above, “Life Skills and Service Excellence” to view the entire site.)

Good news for some of us who have forgotten to collect the Race Entry Pack. The organisers of the Singapore Marathon 2007 has kindly arranged another couple of days of these people to do so. The details –

  • Venue – SUNTEC City Convention Centre, Level 1
  • Date – 29 – 30 November 2007
  • Time – 9am – 9pm

And yes, do not forget your Race Entry Confirmation Slip and your identity Card for verification. if you still can’t make it, you could still assign someone to collect on your behalf – but he must have Letter of Authorisation from you.

And that’s it, the run of the year is finally closing in – this Sunday, 2 December 2007. Can you believe it, we have 40000 runners with 40 ready to set new records… WOW! Read the Press Release for the details.

SITEX Singapore 2007 goes green!

28, November, 2007

SITEX Singapore 2007 goes green

(Click on title above, “Life Skills and Service Excellence” to view the entire site.)

I don’t know if you have heard it, but I just did… SITEX Singapore 2007 is going green – but how?

Well, it’s bascially about recycling your IT stuffs. It’s a really good idea to do so. Saving the earth is much talked about, and we should all play our part, especially alot of us who are very much into the world of IT. SITEX, held in Singapore Expo, from 29 November – 2 December 2007, will station large containers within Halls 5 and 6 for you to discard your unwanted IT products. And it’s not just green-focused; they are donating all proceeds to SPD, the Society of Physically Disabled.

So, if you have any IT stuff that you do not want (those outdated ones or those that are no longer within your requirements specification), perhaps you don’t try to throw them away or put them up at eBay or Yahoo auction or our Singapore mocca.com. Just bring it with you when you visit SITEX within these few days, and put them into the big containers. You “kill two birds with a stone” – go green, as well as do your part for charity, ya?

Adidas running gear at 20% discount – for StandChart Singapore Marathon 2007 participants

28, November, 2007

(Click on title above, “Life Skills and Service Excellence” to view the entire site.)

Hey runners… have you already purchased your running shoes? I am sure your existing pair(s) must have worn out by now – with all training and practices for the past months. Having a good and light pair of track shoes is important when you are going for the distance.

At 20% discount, I must say that it’s a good buy. And not all Adidas or Adidas dealers are on the 20% discount. Do note that there are selected shops to go for. Just click on this link to look out for those on the list – Adidas 20% Discount

Singapore Marathon – Collect your Race Entry Pack at the REPC

22, November, 2007

(Click on title above, “Life Skills and Service Excellence” to view the entire site.)

Talk about service excellence… hmmm, the organising body of Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon (SCSM) certainly uses IT (or MT – mobile technology, to be precise) as an enabler to service rendering.

I just received an SMS that I am to collect the Race Entry Pack on the said date / time /venue. Have you received it? if not, it’s likely that you have not updated you cellphone when you registered for the run.

Countdown – 9 more days to go!

SITEX 2007, Your Digital Playground (?)

21, November, 2007

(Click on title above, “Life Skills and Service Excellence” to view the entire site.)

SITEX Singapore 2007

Your Digital Playground

Interesting caption / theme, ya?

I used to tell my friends that gadgets and computers are adult toys, and this theme / caption just drives home my remark! Anyways, SITEX, the last IT show to happen in 2007, is here again, since its inception in 1988 –

  • Venue – Singapore Expo Halls 5 – 6
  • Dates – 29 November – 2 December
  • Time – 11am – 9pm
  • As usual, it’s free admission.

Ranked as THE event where you get to see the largest display of IT products and services, it’s been receiving great attention, even from foreigners who travelled to Singapore especially for it.

I make it a point to do a ‘pilgrimage’, at least two to three hours over a weekend. This time, I will likely do the same. With cool, latest gadgets and hot deals, we should try this out; especially if you are scouting for a new PC, accessories or some interesting gadgets.

For this coming SITEX, you will get to see 6 new themes –

  • Automobile electronics
  • IT and new media education
  • IT for kids
  • Smart home
  • New technology
  • Business IT

And of all the other ssegments back by popular demand, there is this segment, home entertainment, which was noted the best (no. 1) Popular Pavilion in 2006.

I don’t know about you, readers, but I would definitely be keen to visit the segments on SMART HOME and NEW TECHNOLOGY.

See you there…. Singapore SITEX 2007.