Friday, November 21, 2014


It has been a recurring theme that I begin my posts with a 'It's been a long time since I've posted...', but this time, it really has. I must admit that a lot has happened since my last post, which was about 2 years ago.

Since that time, I have gained unexpected knowledge from some of the best people in the industry, grew as a teacher, as a father, as a man. I have since quit my post in Tawau and have now moved back to my hometown of Sandakan.

My wife and I, we are working on a little project; our own tuition centre. We clocked in our last day at school in May 2013 and thereafter went off to England for 3 months to get our ESL teaching certificates. Now, we have been working on our tuition centre for almost a year to the date.

Throughout 2013, we've had numerous challenges, some near misses and also experienced the odd great-escape. We are still struggling to make ends meet but at least we are working towards something tangible and something that we are going to harvest in the future.

For this entire year, I have been adjusting to life as an entrepreneur but at the same time, trying to be the teacher that I was trained to be. I've had people cross my path, telling me that opening a tuition centre is all about hiring the right amount of teachers divided by the amount of rooms and empty slots in my centre. I've also had people tell me that some have made it big just by investing alone. My word, those are actually quite useful advice - unfortunately, I've got standards.

My own conviction is that if I can't trust my kids to the teachers I have in my centre, then I will not hire them. You see, my centre is not just any money-making business, it is also borne out of a need and want to teach our own children the right kind of education. That means not just any teacher will do. I make it personal that my colleagues are the right ones and only those who have the right motives for teaching need apply.

I believe that I have been through so much training for a reason, and that is to learn what is the difference between a teacher and an educator. Anyone can be a teacher, but not every teacher actually teaches. Some may have the heart, but not the dedication nor the skill - others, the other way round.

The way I see it, it take all the above to make the grade.

Since embarking on this project, I have also become a father to a second child. She's beautiful, but she throws my time and dedication towards my project into the bin. It's difficult enough to keep the company afloat, now I am seemingly bogged-down by this little bundle of joy and curiosity that requires near-constant supervision. I am typing this while she sleeps.

Then, came the moment of enlightenment of sorts for me - To succeed in everything that I do, I need to 'seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and ALL these will be ADDED unto you.'

It has clearly came into my mind countless of times when I struggled with my teaching, with student intake, with my finances, with taking care of the baby while maintaining our affection for her elder brother, while we make decisions to take up certain jobs or use certain chunks of our family time for business purposes and keeping the bills paid.

Only this has been the constant: That I should always seek the face of God.

It's a challenge to trust Him, really, when you have so much bearing down on your shoulders. There's so much I need to do. There's so much that I can do. However, there's only one thing that I should do.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Keep moving on...

It's been so long since I've posted anything on this blog. Surely the FB generation and its style of communication has taken over. Now, people have learnt to communicate using less and less words. I wonder if in the future, a Bachelor's Degree will also be given to a student for the least amount of words he can use to do his dissertation.

Well, if you could read between the lines, there's a reason why I am writing again. I only write when there's something big going on. I only write when I am at the crossroads.

So, here I am again.

I've been constantly asked whether I'm staying put in this town by various people; people whom I've not met for a long time, people whom I meet every week in church, people who have no other topic to talk to me about.

The standard answer has always been 'Yes and No'. We've built a little nest here in the nether regions of this forsaken place. We have also took 3-4 years of being here to begin to accept the way of life. And parts of us are still resisting the fact that we might get stuck here for the rest of our foreseeable lives.

We've been here since September 2008 and to say that we have assimilated would be a big NO. We have struggled to be a part of the church community, our friends from the West seem to be closer to us than our new friends in this town. It's not that we've not given it a try, and it's also not due to the fact that the fellas here didn't try. Perhaps we just lived too far. We have only recently come to accept that.

Well, all that being said, it's about time to move on. We've probably been here long enough to see that this is not what we want for the rest of our lives.

We've actually been planning the great escape from this place since a few months ago when we travelled out of the country to see whether the grass is indeed greener on the other side, and YES, it is indeed greener on the other side. Well, every side of the fence has its pros and cons, but I guess it's time for a new challenge, a new experience.

And we don't plan to come back.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Generalist vs Specialist

I thought that it was time to think a while and a bit.

I was hauled into my boss' office today and got told off about non-performance in a certain aspect of my job. Seriously, this is not a new issue. She's been absolutely graceful about this, as I have not been performing right from the start. I guess her patience is wearing thin.

The problem is, every time we have a chat on this issue, my direction in life gets questioned. That's the problem of having such a nice boss; she practically tries to solve your problem for you. The only problem is, I am not sure whether I want to solve this problem her way.

I'm in a dilemma, you see. Part of me wants to do well at my job because it's part of my duty, but part of me is saying that I don't want to be doing this for life; so why stay there for so long?

It's a confusing state of mind. You could say that it is an anti-thesis of most of the management theories out there; that I kind of enjoy what I am doing, but at the same time, I am not enjoying some of the things that I am asked to do. It's like, I like half of the job, but the other half, I struggle to get to grips with.

I think my problem is that I am a generalist, living in a specialist world. My job specifies that I become a specialist, but my core nature dictates otherwise. I can improve tremendously in almost anything that I put my heart into, but it's just not in my nature to do it for a long time.

I am in a sense, still looking for my life's calling; and after today's chat with my boss, I am beginning to wonder if I would ever have a 'life calling' per se. I keep on having this feeling that my life revolves around jobs that doesn't last me a lifetime. Maybe I am Gen-Y more than I thought I was. Maybe I am in such a dilemma because I am part Gen-X and part Gen-Y.

After about 3 years at this job, I feel that I've seen most of what's in store, and I am fairly sure that I don't want to be doing this for the rest of my life. However, that being said, I am lost in a sense that I do not have another direction in which I can head to.

The thing is, I have so much that I can do, that I end up not knowing what I should do. I mean, I don't mind doing this job for another 2 years, maybe even more, but ultimately, deep down, I know that this is not my final destination.

The issue with this post is that I don't think I will ever have any 'final destination' in my pursuit of career advancement.

A jack of all trades has its own spectrum of problems. Maybe I'm just a flexible peg that can be hammered into multiple shaped holes.

Is there any career in 'multi-purposing'?

Sunday, July 31, 2011

I think I only write when I'm depressed...

Truth be told, the last post that you saw was a preview to my mood for the days after my posting.

I'm beginning to feel that I am only able to write when I am depressed; thus, the pen-name 'SaDdNesZ'.

And you've probably guessed right by now. I'm not feeling in the most buoyant of moods right now. Work has been over-whelming to say the least, my son's just fallen sick and I'm taking these few minutes of alone time just to gather my thoughts.

Recently, I've been doing a bit of thinking; stealing time to myself in between house chores to sit down and assess my own life. I've been perplexed and yet at the same time finding some direction in my own life.

I guess my life is just a big fat oxymoron; an idiosyncrasy unique to me. I constantly find that my thinking is on a different level from that of my peers; sometimes I wonder if only my wife understands me fully. I also find that I keep proving people wrong, in that I am turning out to be what people said that I am not; I also have the ability do the things that are directly related to my job well, but things that are not related to my job, I excel!

So I find that I have to re-set my mind set every now-and-then. Two years ago, when I was 6 months into my new job, I thought I would be a fairly good teacher. I know I could probably teach. Then, during my performance review, my boss said to me that perhaps, I am better suited to do other things. The idea was that I could teach, but it is not my calling. Then, now apparently, I am showing to be more of a teacher than I was supposed to.

That's the curse of being a generalist. I can adapt to so many things but yet I am confronted with choices that are made more difficult by the fact that I can probably do everything relatively well! I guess the only constant for me is change!

However, with that being said, I don't want to change. I crave for the routine. I want stability. But I learn things a bit too fast to keep myself from getting bored. I am beginning to think that perhaps I am not a finisher. I am probably a pioneer that does not know how to end things properly. I can sure start anything I like, but I have not seen an ending to any of my projects and at the same time, I crave to see the end.

That's the entire issue with me. There's so many things that I can do, and yet, there are so many things that I don't want to do.

I guess that when I'm depressed, I am also usually confused. I am still probably an existentialist by nature but I am living for the now and also the future.

My mind says both 'yes' and 'no' at the same time. Yes, even when I am contemplating to click on the 'PUBLISH POST' button.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I'm writing again!

I wrote this down as I was sitting down in class with nothing to do...

One Call.

She was walking home in the rain when the call came. It had been a long and arduous day for her. Nothing seemed to be working for her today. She got shouted at during her departmental meeting, she dropped her favourite coffee mug before she took her first sip, her suppliers delayed her shipment causing a slowdown in production, and now this news.

With long and fatigued footsteps she cursed her luck. She cursed the ground that she walked on and she even cursed the small stone that almost tripped her into the puddle.

She was downcast and had no intention of going home. Is she did, she would be going home to nothingness. There's nothing for her to go back home to. Not after this phone call. Every day, she would rush home from work to see her two favourite things in the world. Now both are gone. Little Roger choked on a stink beetle about two weeks ago; Little Roger was probably the only thing that kept them together. Maybe her fate today was linked to Little Roger's demise. Maybe it began going downhill since then.

She was searching for answers in her heart but her mind told her of this futile attempt to rationalise. What has been done, has been done. Words said cannot be undone. Feelings hurt will only recover through time, with the scars telling and reminding you of the time when.

He was gone.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Who wants to be a hero?

I was just thinking of all the things that I was doing and it just dawned on me - Who wants to be a hero?

My son is sleeping peacefully next to me while I am trying to finish some work that should've been done ages ago. I was taking a break and I thought of other things just to give my mind a rest. My thoughts led me to the fact that there's a nuclear disaster waiting to happen in the Tsunami stricken Island of Japan.

The tsunami came, saw and destroyed much of the city and caused a shut down on one of its nuclear power plants. There was supposedly a leak and the leak was caused by an explosion in the reactor. Apparently, this explosion occurred because the nuclear scientists tried to vent out some radioactive gasses into the air to keep the entire reactor from blowing up. So I thought, someone must've been really brave to go and open a vent at the top of a nuclear reactor, knowing that anything that comes out will be radioactive and the thing cold blow up at any given time.

What would've gone through his mind when his boss told him that he was selected for this dangerous mission? "Boss, take care of my wife and kids. Tell them I love them." That's what I would say. Then my mind rationalised that his boss might just give them a one off cheque for their loss, have the town declare him a hero, and forget about this man until someone talks about this disaster 50 years later.

His wife and kids - They will only know that their husband and father died a heroic death, died for the nation, died protecting them.

Will you be this man? No. Of course not. Who in their right mind would want to be in this position?

So who wants to be a hero? Not me.

I was brought back to examine my own life. For all the things that I have done, for all the things that I am still doing, for all the things that requires my attention. And I think to myself, it's mighty lonely being a hero. Don't even talk about being a hero, just talk about being a voluntary leader. Someone who just gives and gives and gives, and receives nothing for the sacrifices that he has poured out.

That's why, modern day heroes are loners, people who cannot have a family life. If you want to have a family, then you can't be a hero. That's because no one will take care of your family for you. If we were in a world 50 years back, I believe that our bosses would indeed take care of our family, literally, if we were killed in action, serving the company, but today, loyalty and heroism is worth nothing. The boss would just give you some money, and off with you. Never come back to haunt me again, I have done my part to compensate you for your loss, I have no other responsibilities whatsoever towards you. What you do with that money is your prerogative, I have paid my dues to you and your family. Sorry for your loss.

So who wants to be a hero?

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Let's just say that I have just had a Eureka Moment.

After a heated discussion with a colleague about what and how work should be, I suddenly found out what my life meant and what direction should I take to fulfil my calling in life.

Like all Eureka Moments, life suddenly made sense and everything that has been happening all came together to tell its story. It's just like all of a sudden, your mind opens up and all the struggles and problems in life made absolute sense. It is as if you knew exactly why the things that happened happened.

I guess after about 15 years after I was given this prophecy, I see the light at the end of the tunnel.

The story goes like this; There was once a lady prophet who came from Korea that would go around churches ministering to people, telling them what God has in store for them. Maybe a word of encouragement, or a direction that perhaps God wanted the person to head towards.

I was about 15 years old back then, could be younger. So she came a-visit at my hometown church. As eager and as curious as a family could be about knowing what God has to say to us, we went to be ministered to.

The Korean prophetess gave me a prophecy, which I have doubted its accuracy and appropriateness for the past 10 years or so, was that I would be an entrepreneur, setting up an enterprise that God would use for the advancement of His kingdom.

And for the past 10 years, after I finished my Form 5, I have only thought about working, looking for work and surviving without the help of my parents. I would say that I have studied in all that a person should study, worked in small enterprises and ran the rat race.

Somehow I knew, God was steering me towards something, but I still had my reservations about the prophecy.

In a very strange way, God provided an opening at the most un-thought of place that I would go to, gave my wife the conviction to apply for this job, gave me the thought of applying to the same organisation and now, He has led me to a place whereby this prophecy could come true.

Of course I know that it's God who gave me all the necessary education and experience for Him to use me in a later date, but I have never knew what, where and when God would wnat me to do something for Him.

Like now, I am working at a place whereby He is teaching me something about what I need to do later. He has connected me to some of the most important people that I can possibly get to know with due relevance to the prophecy and it was only tonight I figured it out.

Now, I only wonder if it is really what God wants. Cause as I am typing this entry out, my mind is working and churning out ideas as to how and why and what to name the enterprise. I find it difficult to sleep when my mind kicks into gear and therefore, I am blogging at this hour of night.

I shall let you know as and when I have more thoughts. But as for now, I need to document some of the ideas down so that I won't forget.


Structured wiring
Free Web Counter
Structured wiring