“If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I’m about to do today?”

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Growing Older Is Mandatory. Growing Up Is Optional.

The first day of school our professor introduced himself and challenged us to get to know someone we didn't already know. I stood up to look around when a gentle hand touched my shoulder.

I turned around to find a wrinkled, little old lady beaming up at me with a smile that lit up her entire being.

She said, 'Hi, handsome. My name is Rose. I'm eighty-seven years old. Can I give you a hug?'

I laughed and enthusiastically responded, 'Of course you may!' and she gave me a giant squeeze.

'Why are you in college at such a young, innocent age?' I asked.

She jokingly replied, 'I'm here to meet a rich husband, get married, and have a couple of kids...'

'No, seriously,' I asked. I was curious what may have motivated her to be taking on this challenge at her age.

'I always dreamed of having a college education, and now I'm getting one!' she told me.

After class, we walked to the student union building and shared a chocolate milkshake.

We became instant friends. Every day for the next three months we would leave class together and talk non-stop. I was always mesmerized listening to this 'time machine' as she shared her wisdom and experience with me.

Over the course of the year, Rose became a campus icon and she easily made friends wherever she went. She loved to dress up and she reveled in the attention bestowed upon her from the other students. She was living it up.

At the end of the semester, we invited Rose to speak at our football banquet. I'll never forget what she taught us. She was introduced and stepped up to the podium. As she began to deliver her prepared speech, she dropped her three by five cards on the floor.

Frustrated and a little embarrassed, she leaned into the microphone and simply said, 'I'm sorry I'm so jittery. I'll never get my speech back in order, so let me just tell you what I know.'

As we laughed, she cleared her throat and began, 'We do not stop playing because we are old; we grow old because we stop playing.

There are only four secrets to staying young, being happy and achieving success. You have to laugh and find humor every day. You've got to have a dream. When you lose your dreams, you die.

We have so many people walking around who are dead and don't even know it!

There is a huge difference between growing older and growing up.

If you are nineteen years old and lie in bed for one full year and don't do one productive thing, you will turn twenty years old. If I am eighty-seven years old and stay in bed for a year and never do anything, I will turn eighty-eight.

Anybody can grow older! That doesn't take any talent or ability. The idea is to grow up by always finding opportunity in change. Have no regrets.

The elderly usually don't have regrets for what we did, but rather for things we did not do. The only people who fear death are those with regrets.'

She concluded her speech by courageously singing, 'The Rose.'

She challenged each of us to study the lyrics and live them out in our daily lives. At the year's end, Rose finished the college degree she had begun all those months ago.

One week after graduation, Rose died peacefully in her sleep.

Over two thousand college students attended her funeral in tribute to the wonderful woman who taught by example that it's never too late to be all you can possibly be.

These words have been passed along in loving memory of ROSE.

REMEMBER, GROWING OLDER IS MANDATORY. GROWING UP IS OPTIONAL. We make a Living by what we get. We make a Life by what we give.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A Checklist for Ramadan

1. Ask Allah to enable you to reach Ramadan and to get the most out of it as the Salaf (early generation of pious people) used to do.

2. Intend to fast every day with Iman and pure intention seeking the reward from Allah alone. The Prophet peace be upon him said, “Whoever fasts in Ramadan with Iman and seeking reward (from Allah)his past sins will be forgiven”. (Bukhari) 

3. Read the whole Qur’an at least once as the Prophet peace be upon him did. 

4. Have Suhoor as the Prophet peace be upon him said, “Have Suhoor because it is blessed”.

5. Make Du’a during the fast because the Prophet peace be upon him said that three people’s supplication is not rejected one of them is the fasting person. Ask for the good of this life and the next for yourself, your family and Muslims in general.

6. Make Dua before opening the fast. The Prophet peace be upon him said, “The fasting person has a supplication that is answered when he opens his fast”.

7. Give Sadaqah and be good to people. The Prophet peace be upon him was the most generous of people and he was most generous in Ramadan.

8. Avoid anything that diminishes the fast such as, lying, backbiting, cheating, getting angry. The Prophet peace be upon him said “Whoever does not give up false statements (i.e. telling lies), and evil deeds, and speaking bad words to others, Allah is not in need of his (fasting) leaving his food and drink.” [Bukhari] 

9. Do not eat too much after Iftar.

10. Ask for forgiveness since this is the month Allah frees people from the fire.

11. Pray At-Tarawih with Khushoo. If you pray in the Masjid complete the Salah with the Imam. If you pray at home prolong the Salah as long as you can. The Prophet peace be upon him said, “Whoever prays during Ramadan with Iman and seeking reward (from Allah) his past sins will be forgiven”.

12. Feed the poor and invite others for Iftar. The Prophet peace be upon him said, “Whoever gives Iftar to someone fasting he will have the same reward without decreasing the reward of the person fasting”.

13. Try harder the last ten nights especially the odd nights. The prophet would strive in Ramadan more than he would in any other month and more so in the last ten days.

14. Say this Dua in the nights that Laitul-Qadr is likely to fall on: Allhumma innaka afuwun tuhibbul-afwa fa’fu anni (O Allah you are Forgiving and love forgiveness so forgive me).

15. Ask Allah to accept all your good actions during this month.

O you who believe, fasting is decreed for you, as it was decreed for those before you, that you may attain salvation. (Quran, 2:183)

Friday, July 20, 2012

SUB di AM Perak

Minggu lepas, aku telah diminta untuk memfasilitatorkan ‘Sedia Untuk Berjaya’ (SUB) untuk sebahagian anggota kerja dari Asset Maintenance Perak (AM Perak), Bahagian Penghantaran, Tenaga Nasional Berhad bertempat di Coral Fishing Chalet, Lumut, Perak. Terperanjat aku melihat pembangunan di tempat ini. Hebat sekali. Jauh berbeza dari apa yang aku ingat mengenai Lumut semasa kali terakhir aku datang ke Lumut ini. Aku boleh rasa akan ’vibration’ yang cukup baik mengenai tempat ini. Dalam masa terdekat ini, aku tanam hajat untuk bawa famili aku datang bercuti ke sini.

Maklumat awal yang aku terima mengenai AM Perak ini ialah mereka dilihat sebagai satu kumpulan yang bermasalah dari segi kerjasama dan ini dibuktikan oleh prestasi mereka yang kurang memberangsangkan berbanding dengan rakan sejawat mereka dari negeri-negeri lain.

Namun, tanggapan awal ini sememangnya salah. Dari latihan dalam SUB ini, jelas kelihatan nilai setia kawan mereka cukup tinggi. Mereka merupakan satu kumpulan yang senang bertolak ansur dan mutu kerjasama mereka cukup hebat. Jadi di mana silapnya?

Dari sessi ’Teddy Talk’ atau ’Doraemon Talk’ yang diseliakan oleh Bro Rod malam pertama SUB ini, jelas kelihatan wujud satu masalah dengan kepimpinan AM Perak ini. Kepimpinan AM Perak ini sebenarnya tidak mampu mempengaruhi agar anggota kerja AM Perak ini melaksanakan pelan bisnes dengan berkesan. Apalah maknanya kepimpinan jika tidak mampu mempengaruhi? Bukankah takrif kepimpinan itu sendiri ialah keupayaan untuk mempangaruhi?

Memang senang kita menunding jari kepada kepimpinan yang sedia ada. Tapi itu tidak akan menyelesaikan masalah. ’Root Cause’ permasalahan kepimpinan AM Perak ini bukan terhenti kepada kepimpinan yang sedia ada tetapi sebenarnya jauh lebih dalam dari itu.

Apa yang aku nampak ialah pembinaan kepimpinan ini bukan bermula dari bermulanya seseorang pemimpin itu mula memimpin satu-satu unit bisnes seperti AM Perak ini tetapi harus bermula dari peringkat seseorang pemimpin itu mula memasuki alam kerjayanya lagi.

Satu bentuk ilmu asas yang bersifat menyeluruh, bersepadu dan bersistematik harus diberikan kepada mereka semua. Jika tidak, akan tempanglah kepimpinan itu. Kesannya? Itulah segala macam apa yang dialami oleh AM Perak ketika ini.

Ilmu asas ini ada terkandung dalam Program Produktiviti Bersepadu 3K (Kesedaran Diri – Kesedaran Kerja Berpasukan – Kesedaran Kepimpinan) – PPB3K. PPB3K mampu memberi satu corak pendedahan seperti apa yang dihasratkan dalam perenggan di atas. Aku amat berharap para peneraju organisasi berpeluang untuk mengetahui mengenai PPB3K ini. Aku berkeyakinan mereka akan ’excited’ dengan segala idea yang ada dalam PPB3K ini. 

Baru-baru ini, aku telah membaca sebuah buku bertajuk ’Human Governance’ tulisan Professor Dato' Dr Aziuddin Ahmad dan Dr Arfah Salleh dari Universiti Putra Malaysia. Dalam buku itu mereka telah menyarankan agar semua manusia berpegang kepada ’Human Governance’ kerana ’Human Governance’ membawa manusia pulang semula kepada nilai-nilai murni dalam melaksana sebarang usaha kerana ianya akan membawa kepada pembinaan ’excellence’ dalam tindak tanduk manusia itu untuk mencapai sebarang hasil. 

Dan tidak hanya berpegang kepada 'Corporate Governance'  (Corporate Governance merupakan lawan kepada amalan ’Human Governance’) yang amat berpegang kuat kepada amalan ’compliance’ sahaja yang tidak mungkin membawa kepada ’excellence’ dalam pencapaian sebarang hasil. Kesan ini memang amat ketara dalam organisasi ketika ini bilamana dilihat manusia-manusia seakan menjadi ’robot’ sahaja. 

Inilah masalah yang dialami oleh AM Perak kerana terlalu menekankan soal ’compliance’ (Quantitative Measures - Corporate Governance) tanpa mengimbanginya dengan penekanan kepada soal nilai manusia (Qualitative Measures - Human Governance). Mind you, inilah juga yang dialami oleh semua organisasi masakini! 

Meremang bulu roma aku bila aku bertemu dengan ’realisation’ ini. Aku sedar PPB3K boleh dijadikan sebagai salah satu kaedah bagi pembinaan ’Human Governance’ disamping menggunapakai hal-hal positif yang ada dalam ’Corporate Governance’ itu sendiri kerana PPB3K menekankan soal pembangunan secara holistik untuk diri maupun organisasi.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Bagaimana Menjadi Diri Yang Sebenar?

Dalam satu training program yang dihadiri baru-baru ini, saya termenung seketika bilamana coach program tersebut, Saudara Gene Dunaway menyatakan bahawa, “You must take ownership of your choice!”. Tak pernah saya dengar kenyataan sebegini sebelum ini. Gene telah menghurai maksud ‘quote’ ini dan rugi rasanya jika saya tidak berkongsi di laman ini.

Bilamana kita berdepan dengan sebarang pilihan, kita punya dua pilihan. Samada kita mahu bertanggungjawab terhadap ’outcomes’ dari pilihan yang kita buat itu atau sebaliknya mahu mengelak dari bertanggungjawab terhadap ’outcomes’ tersebut.

Jika kita pilih untuk tidak mahu bertanggungjawab terhadap ’outcomes’ yang terjadi dari pilihan yang kita buat, selalunya kita akan cuba untuk memberi alasan. Sebagai contoh, katakan kita berjanji untuk menghadiri satu temujanji jam 10 pagi dan katakan kita hanya sampai jam 10.30 pagi. Bila ini terjadi, kita biasanya akan memberi alasan seperti jalan sesak, kereta rosak, dan sebagainya. Walau bagaimana ’valid’ sekalipun alasan kita, tanpa kita sedari ianya sebenarnya memberi kita satu ruang agar terlepas dari janji yang telah kita buat.

Bila ini terjadi, sebenarnya tanpa kita sedari, kita telah mengurangkan rasa percaya diri, keyakinan diri dan integriti diri kita sendiri. Jika ini dibiarkan berterusan, tanpa kita sedari, penyakit-penyakit tiada percaya diri, tiada keyakinan diri dan tiada integriti diri ini akan menjadi tabiat kita.

Bilamana penyakit ini berleluasa, itu sebab kita tidak punya keyakinan diri untuk mencapai matlamat-matlamat kita. Bayangkan. Segalanya bermula dengan hanya tidak menepati janji untuk satu temujanji! Bayangkan jika penyakit ini bila berleluasa dalam satu masyarakat atau satu negara. Boleh hancur masyarakat atau negara tersebut!

Sebaliknya katakan kita menepati janji temujanji jam 10 itu dan datang tepat pada waktunya. Apa terjadi kepada kita? Perkara sebaliknya berlaku iaitu rasa percaya diri, keyakinan diri dan integriti diri akan timbul. Tuan Puan sendiri boleh fikirkan kesan pada seseorang bilamana punya rasa percaya diri, keyakinan diri dan integriti diri.

Orang yang punya rasa percaya diri, keyakinan diri dan integriti diri ini sebenarnya baru mampu menjadi diri mereka yang sebenarnya (Authentic Self). Jika tidak, hidup seseorang individu itu umpama satu lakunan sahaja. Bila hidup dalam lakunan, mana mungkin individu tersebut mampu bertemu bahagia? Hidup di penuhi gelisah walau punya segala keperluan material yang hebat.

Mereka yang sentiasa mampu menjadi diri mereka sebenarnya (Authentic Self) dalam hidup ini sentiasa menitik berat 3 nilai utama dalam hidup harian mereka. Mereka sentiasa …

Berkata Benar (Honest)
Komited (Committed)
Segera Bertindak (Act at Once).

Memang hidup menjadi indah dan nampak peluang dimana-mana. Apakah pilihan yang mahu saya buat?

Pilihan Di Tangan Saya! 

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Three People

Three people were laying bricks. A passerby asked them what they were doing.

The first one replied, "Don't you see I am making a living?"

The second one said, "Don't you see I am lying bricks?"

The third one said, "I am building a beautiful monument."

Here were three people doing the same thing who had totally different perspective on what they were doing.

They had three very different attitudes about their work. And would their attitude affect their performance? The answer is clearly yes.


Excellence comes when the performer takes pride in doing his best. Every job is a self-portrait of the person who does it, regardless of what the job is, whether washing cars, sweeping the floor or painting a house.

Michelangelo had been working on a statue for many days. He was taking a long time to retouch every small detail. A bystander thought these improvements were insignificant and asked Michelangelo why he bothered with them. Michelangelo replied, "Trifles make perfection and perfection is no trifle."

Most people forget how fast you did a job, but they remember how well it was done.

Pride of performance does not represent ego. It represents pleasure with humility.

"The quality of the work and the quality of the worker are inseparable."

Half-hearted effort does not produce half results; it produces no results.

Unemployed Graduate

An unemployed graduate woke up one morning and checked his pocket. All he had left was $10. He decided to use it to buy food and then wait for death as he was too proud to go begging. He was frustrated as he could find no job, and nobody was ready to help him ...

He bought food and as he sat down to eat, an old man and two little children came along and asked him to help them with food as they had not eaten for almost a week. He looked at them. They were so lean that he could see their bones coming out. Their eyes had gone into the socket. With the last bit of compassion he had, he gave them the food. The old man and children prayed that God would bless and prosper him and then gave him a very old coin. The young graduate said to them 'you need the prayer more than I do'.

With no money, no job, no food, the young graduate went under the bridge to rest and wait for death. As he was about to sleep, he saw an old news paper on the ground. He picked it up, and suddenly he saw an advertisement for people with old coins to come to a certain address.

He decided to go there with the old coin the old man gave him. On getting to the place, he gave the proprietor the coin. The proprietor screamed, brought out a big book and showed the young graduate a photograph. This same old coin was worth 3 million dollars. The young graduate was overjoyed as the proprietor gave him a bank draft for 3 million dollars within an hour. He collected the Bank Draft and went in search of the old man and little children.

By the time he got to where he left them eating, they had gone. He asked the owner of the canteen if he knew them. He said no but they left a note for you. He quickly opened the note thinking it would lead him to find them.

This is what the note said: 'You gave us your all and we have rewarded you back with the coin.

PRAYER: Here is your financial blessing! It's a simple prayer.

O the most Gracious and Loving God, I pray to you that you abundantly Bless my family and me. I know that you recognize, that a family is more than just a mother, father, sister, brother husband and wife, but all who believe and trust in You.

God, I send up a prayer request for financial blessing for not only for me but for all my fellow humans. And that the power of joined prayer by those who believe and trust in you is more powerful than anything.

I thank you in advance for your blessings.

O God, Release your Godly wisdom that I may be a good steward over all that You have given me, for I know how wonderful and mighty You are and how if we just obey You and have faith in Your word that You will pour out blessings.

I thank You now God for the recent blessings I have received and for the blessings yet to come because I know You are not done with me yet.


Flowers for You

Many flowers for you
For peace you sow
For the truths that you claim
For the joy that you give
That you stand for justice
For the beauty that only you have.
For the sweet simplicity of its gestures
Nice for your embrace
The brightness of your eyes
For wisdom that guides their actions
For the love they devote to people, plants and animals.

Many flowers for you
For his constant pursuit of happiness
And in this quest to find happiness
Being part of a family so special
Due to its sensitivity
For all that you are
All these flowers
These are for you
And who sent you
Do you think there are few
Because you have the gift to transform the lives of
those who approach you
In the most beautiful garden.

Have you a magical weekend.

Green Lenses

There was a millionaire who was bothered by severe eye pain. He consulted so many physicians and was getting his treatment done. He did not stop consulting galaxy of medical experts; he consumed heavy loads of drugs and underwent hundreds of injections.

But the ache persisted with great vigour than before. At last a wise man who has supposed to be an expert in treating such patients was called for by the millionaire. The wise man understood his problem and said that for sometime he should concentrate only on green colours and not to fall his eyes on any other colours.

The millionaire got together a group of painters and purchased barrels of green color and directed that every object his eye was likely to fall to be painted in green colour just as the wise man had directed.

When the wise man came to visit him after few days, the millionaire's servants ran with buckets of green paints and poured on him since he was in red dress, lest their master not see any other colour and his eye ache would come back.

Hearing this wise man laughed said, "If only you had purchased a pair of green spectacles, worth just a few ringgit, you could have saved these walls and trees and pots and all other articles and also could have saved a large share of his fortune. You cannot paint the world green."

Let us change our vision and the world will appear accordingly. It is foolish to shape the world, let us shape ourselves first.

Value in the giving

There have been times 
When the kindness of another person 
Has changed your life for the better. 
And it's easy to see that kindness 
Has the power to reach far beyond itself.

In the most difficult of moments kindness heals and reassures. 
Kindness gives comfort and hope 
Where there was none before. 
Kindness can inspire confidence.
It changes for the better 
The perspective of those it touches.

When you seek to make a difference
Kindness is a great place to start. 
Just the simple desire to give it 
Is all you really must have.

So give kindness freely 
And without hesitation. 
Whether you get it back 
Does not really even matter for its true value is in the giving.

Live with kindness 
and you'll always see life's 
Very best possibilities. 
For in kindness is the heart of who you truly are.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Ant and the Grasshopper

In a field one summer's day a Grasshopper was hopping about, chirping and singing to its heart's content. An Ant passed by, bearing along with great toil an ear of corn he was taking to the nest."Why not come and chat with me," said the Grasshopper, "instead of toiling and moiling in that way?"

"I am helping to lay up food for the winter," said the Ant, "and recommend you to do the same."

"Why bother about winter?" said the Grasshopper; we have got plenty of food at present." But the Ant went on its way and continued its toil. When the winter came the Grasshopper had no food and found itself dying of hunger, while it saw the ants distributing every day corn and grain from the stores they had collected in the summer.

Lessons in life:

“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. This is one of the fundamental principles of good management. A company should always have short and long-term growth plans. At a strategic level, a business plan will enable the company to identify business objectives and opportunities.

At the operational level, planning leads to smooth and successful daily operational activities. For family businesses, succession planning is vital as we have seen examples of businesses folding up after the loss of their key leader. Plans should also not be cast in stone. They should be reviewed constantly, in line with the changing market conditions of the particular industry.

On a separate note, the fable does allude to the social dichotomy between the rich and the poor. There are the people who make a fortune through sheer hard work, and there are the loafers who blame everyone except themselves for the poverty they face. The strange thing, however, is that these loafers survive.

In certain welfare states, they are so well provided for by the government (with social insurance for old age, illness, and unemployment needs) that they are better off not working. Tax the rich to give to the poor. While this will bridge the income gap between the two classes, if overdone, it may force the country's wealthy citizens to migrate to countries with lower tax regime. Not only that, it gives the poor no incentive to work hard, or to upgrade their skills.

While the fable did not reveal much of the fate of the Grasshopper, we know that in real life, Grasshoppers will continue to hop about merrily and enjoy the fruits of labor of the Ants. They do it either via the legitimate social framework, or the thugs' method portrayed in the animated film “A Bug's Life”. Life is never fair.


It is best to prepare for the days of necessity.