This is one of my favourite picture from The Reebok Spartan Race.  People often ask me, why do you race? My question to you why do you not race? The question “Why do you Race?” is a great metaphor of “Why do you live?”

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I live to inspire people to embrace the adversity of life so that they can grow living life with fulfilment. That is why I Race. Let’s look at the two Spartans crossing the finish line right before the fire. One with a complete set of body, 2 arms and 2 legs. The other Spartan had 2 arms, 1 leg and crutches. Physically, they are different. However, both of them has the fire of a Spartan to beat all the life adversity.

The question is who has the most fire? At first glance, probably the one with crutches may have the most fire. However, I believe both of them has a different story to tell. One of them could be physically challenged which we can observe. One of them could be an emotional challenge which we cannot observe. At the end of the day, both of them has their own setback. But they cross the finish line! That is when it really counts! Here is the secret,  it is not about the setback. It is how you respond to your setback. All it takes is action! They make the decision to take action to break their setback. Instead of complaining about it and do nothing at all. They decide to take the positive attitude to matter how life hit them! That is the fire each of us needs to have!

The only disability in life is a bad attitude~ Scott Hamilton

My question to you my beloved readers, what are the setbacks you need to deal everyday? Have you found your fire? In other words, have your discover your why? How strong your fire to break the life obstacle? It is good to learn to embrace your fire, you will be impressed how far you can achieve despite all the setback. That is how life roll! All it takes is action, then the fire will ignite!

find your fire we are spartan


The 5 Principles to Handle Problem!

The problem occurs when things do not go the way you want it to be. Everyone will experience the problem.  It can happen anywhere, anytime and most of the time it will happen the least you expect it to happen! There are just inescapable!

People`s perspective makes a huge difference in how a person approach their problem. If we look at negative perspective. Problems are unsolvable, problems are permanent, problems there control us and problems stop us. If we look at the positive perspective, problems are solvable, problems are temporary, problems challenge us and problems stretch us.


How we look at the problem at the first place makes the difference whether we can solve it or not. It is best to look at the positive side by facing the problem, assessing the problem and taking action to address it. I am going to share the key principles to handle problems which I read about from The Difference Maker by John C. Maxwell.

  1. Identify the problem!

The first thing we need to do is to determine if it is really a problem. There is a difference between a problem or a predicament. A problem is something you can resolve because there is a solution. If there is no solution, it is not a problem. It is known as a predicament. The predicament is a difficult situation that a person needs to endure. The issue here is when people treat their predicament as a problem. They become frustrated, angry and even depressed. They make the wrong decision, waste their energy and fail. In the end, they begin to nurture the victim mindset in them. So, how do we differentiate these two?

This is based on my own experience. My father was called by God on the 28 May 2015 due to cancer. This is something I cannot solve. However, I have to learn to live with it and move on with life because crying about it will do more damage. That is a predicament. There is no way a person can resurrect a person from the dead unless he is God. It is a difficult journey, but I have to move on.

my late father
My late father and I

Another example, last year, 2016 the oil price had drop from approximately 90USD/barrel to 40USD/barrel. You are working in an oil and gas company. The company have to make a tough decision to reduce cost significantly to earn hard cash. The company announced a reorganization process whereby there will be massive lay off. Unfortunately, you got the hit. That is already a predicament. Are you going to drain your energy to complain about it? It is alright to vent out for a short period of time. But, are you doing to stay down? Instead, you have to learn to accept it and spend your energy to hunt for a new job or even starting a business. People with a victor-mindset will use it as an opportunity to transition to something better.

How do we define the problem? John C. Maxwell structured P.R.O.B.L.E.M.S as follows:

Predictors – helping to mould our future.

Reminders – showing us that we cannot succeed alone.

Opportunities – pulling us out of ruts and prompting us to think creatively.

Blessing – opening doors we would otherwise not go through.

Lessons – providing instruction with each new challenge.

Everywhere – telling us that no one is excluded from difficulties.

Messages – warning us about potential disasters.

Solvable –  reminding us that every problem has a solution.

I would suggest you write this down and stick it up somewhere that can be easily accessed. If you encounter a problem, look through this list. I believe it will help to motivate you to respond to the problem.

If you are able to distinguish between predicaments from problems, then you are able to put yourself in a better position to endure the predicaments and determine the solution for the problem.

  1. Be ever ready to face the problem.

Al Davis, owner of NFL`s Oakland Raiders

A great leader doesn`t treat problems as special. He treats them as normal.

The moment you drive your car for a long ride, expect problems like a flat tire. When you have your wedding reception, expect problems like the microphone will be faulty or even out of battery. If you are working at the office, expect a problem like being shouted by another colleague for no reason. We need to be ever ready when comes to deal with a problem.

A problem not anticipated is a problem. A problem anticipated is an opportunity.

Facing the problem can be a struggle, believe me. Based on John C. Maxwell experience, they are 4 groups of people when dealing with life adversity.

#1: Flee it – they try to run away, but the problems always follow.

#2: Forget it –they hope the problem will go away, but problem left alone only get worse.

#3: Fight it –they resist, but the problem still persists.

#4: Face it– they look at the problem realistically and finds ways to solve it.

It is good to do self-assessment to determine which group you are usually in. If you are in the #1, #2, and #3, you need to change your mindset. Divert your mentality into the fourth group, FACE IT! The right question to ask, “How can I solve this problem effectively?”. Use positive word to divert your mindset from a victim minded to a victor minded. Remember, the first step to solving the problem is to have the courage to face it and understand the problem.

  1. Every problem is a potential opportunity

Negative minded people will see an obstacle as a burden. Positive minded people will see the obstacle as an opportunity. President John F. Kennedy was asked how he becomes a war hero.  He answered: “It was quite easy. Someone sunk my boat!”. Most of the time, adversity paves the way for success. All the invention around us begins with a problem. It is the affirmative action that a person to resolve the problem that makes the difference.

The Wright brothers, Orville and Wilbur. Both of them opened a bicycle shop and they focus on repairing and selling bicycles. They were also had a passion for flight. However, that time there were no airplane like what we had now. They identified the problem and took matters into action. From a bicycle mechanic to an aircraft mechanic. It was a contrast transition. However, with their positive attitude they continue to pursue their passion. They learned, experiment, made mistakes and modified their prototype until they succeed. On the 17 December 1903. (Source: Eye Witness to History)  Orville Wright took the first flight 20 feet above a wind-swept beach in North Carolina. The flight lasted for 12 seconds. He traveled for 120 feet. Although they succeed that time, they continued to try again to improve. There were three more flights made that day. The best recorded flight was 59 seconds over a distance of 852 feet. That was the mark of flight revolution. The Wright brothers were the game changer of flight by unlocking their abilities from building a bicycle to building an airplane.

Wilbur Wright

“It is possible to fly without motors, but not without knowledge and skill.”

Problems are alarm-clock for creativity and innovation. If we choose to wake up and get up, problems will notify us to use our unlocked abilities. You will be surprised with what you can do with that mindset.


  1. List of all the of the potential solution to the problem

We have to program our mind stating that to every problem, there is already a solution whether you know what it is or not. Fire up the creative and innovative mind to attack the problem. Pull in the available resources. There could be information from the internet or people who are expert with experience that can help you. Use the network you have to tackle the problem.  Good thinkers always have more than one way to solve a problem. We tend to make a mistake when there is only one solution to any problem. Keep on thinking and grinding through to determine the solution.

 No problem can stand the attack of sustain of the solution.

The question is the key to unlocking the world greatest mystery. The right question will give you the right answer. Use the famous fundamental question specifically why, how, what, who, when and where. It will direct the problem to the right solution.

  1. Take action and refocus on the right solution.

Having a list of a solution of a problem is meaningless if action is not taken. We all have that fear of not taking action because we do not know will it work. Once there are options, the next step is to determine the best solution. Then, make the plan to a reality by take the action and concentrate on it. Let us look at it this way, Alex is not taking a decision on the list of solution due to fear of making wrong decision and Zoe is taking the action on the list of possible solution. Zoe does not know the solution will it solve the problem, but she just executes it. Between Alex and Zoe, which person has a higher probability to succeed? Definitely, Zoe! Alex already failed as he did not take action because he is waiting and waiting and the problem still persist.

Thomas Edison

I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

 Concentration is the secret of strength in politics, in war, in trade, in short, in all human management affair.

In your problem-solving journey, you may make a mistake, do not chase after it. Do not try to defend it, instead learn from it. Take a step back and refocus on the solution of the problem. Move to the next solution which potentially may solve the problem. That is the beauty once you have the list of a solution of a problem. Always keep an eye on the goal that you want to achieve and visualised it. Let us say, Zoe made the wrong choice. She found out that 1 out of 10 solutions does not work and this allows her to eliminate the failed option. She can move on the next potential solution. Learn, refocus on the situation and keep attacking the problem until the goal is achieved.

John Foster Dulles

The measure of success is not whether you have a tough problem to deal with, but whether it is the same problem you had last year.

The key is to focus on what you are learning, not on what you are losing. If you do that, then you will open the door to future possibilities. A positive attitude can help you to do that. It helps you to learn from the present and focus on the future. Positive thinking is how you think about a problem. Enthusiasm is how you feel about the problem. Put these two together, it will determine what you do about the problem.

To summarise the principles, we need to identify the problem first. We need to be ever ready to face the problem. Keep in mind, every problem is a potential opportunity. Write down a list of all the of the possible solution to the problem. Most importantly, take action and refocus on the right solution. All the best and go solve that problem!

The content was taken from the Difference Makerwritten by John C. Maxwell and with a spice of my thought. Definitely, a book to read and highly recommended for those who want to learn to manage their attitude.

5 Principles to Manage CHANGES in Life!

In my previous post, I wrote about DISCOURAGEMENT as one of the obstacles of the positive attitude. Now, I am going to cover CHANGE. The truth is we cannot move forward and remain the same. But why do we resist change? Let us discover why we resist change.

We resist change because of our personal loss. For everything, we gain we will lose something, and there is that fear that we need the things that we let go again. We fear the unknown. We often cling to the things we know, even though we are not satisfied with it.  Changes feel awkward as it feels different. This takes us out of the comfort zone. Another reason is the tradition. People may assume that if it is a tradition, it is the best way to do it. Hence, this restricts us to try out new ways. Tradition can be a good thing if it connects you with other people and personal history. If it not, that can be changed. That conversion will pop up in your head, “We have been doing that way all this while, and it works. Why do we need to change it?”

Change is going to happen anyway. We cannot control it. However, we can make a choice to respond to it!  We cannot become what we need by remaining what we are. If you desire growth, then you must embrace change. To deal change successfully, it is all about preparation and being positive to respond to it. Here are the 5 principles to manage the change.

  1. Change will happen whether you like it or not.

Whatever happen today, will change tomorrow. Change is unavoidable. It is a different world than it was twenty years ago, and it will be different in another twenty years. A great example is the usage of technology. 10 years ago, only people with luxury can afford a mobile phone, and it was not a necessity. Now time has changed, the mobile phone is a necessity to get connected locally and globally. The pay phone now it obsolete, we do not use that anymore. Then, we had keypad phone before we move to touch screen phone. We hardly find shops that sell keypad mobile phone although we want to buy one. Again, we cannot stop the change, it will come. Learn to accept it.

2. Without change, there can be no improvement.

Honestly, change can represent both possible opportunities and potential losses. If we decide to stay still, the growth is zero. Hence, we need to take action to embrace the change. We cannot become what we need by remaining what we are. It is all about perspective. If it is a great opportunity, we won. If it is a loss, you learn. With that experience, we know what works and what does not work. That lead to growth on the way we make a decision in the future. Learn to embrace it.

3. Make a commitment to pay the price for change.

Change always costs us something. It may not be in term of money, it may take time, energy and creativity. In fact, if change does not cost us anything, then it is not a real difference. The best way is to measure the cost of change compared to the expense of the status quo.

Let say you just change job from company A to company B. When you were working company A, you worked exactly 8 hours per day because you have that stability. You know the people, the work processes and the system. Now you are working for company B. You may need to invest extra hours in learning, potential additional late nights and sacrificing energy until you reach that stability similar when you were working for company A. That is the price all of us have to pay when we need to change.  Make a decision to look at the bright side that will make a difference between

Change = growth or change = grief

4. Change must happen within you before it can happen around you.

Time changes things, but we actually have to change them ourselves. Here is the fact, any change that occurs in the world always begins with change within an individual. Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything. Once we dedicate ourselves to growth and develop a lifestyle of planned improvement from inside out, it will become routine to you. With that mindset in place, we can welcome any significant shift in life.

5. Make a decision on what you are NOT willing to change.

There are always things that we are not prepared to change. For me, no matter what, I will not change my faith in God as a Christian. I would rather die than forfeit my faith in God. I will not change my value that I hold dearly, which is accountability, integrity and valor. I will not change my life guiding principles such as to have faith and be honest. These are the things are not worth compromising. We need to identify this first. List down the things that you will not change. Then everything else should be open to change.

Do not be afraid to keep trying something new. All the things you love were once unknown to you.

The content was taken from the Difference Makerwritten by John C. Maxwell and with a spice of my thought. Definitely, a book to read and highly recommended for those who want to learn to manage their attitude.


5 Ways to overcome Discouragement!!

Sustaining a positive attitude while living life is very similar to running the SPARTAN RACE. There are obstacles you need to overcome in the race. These can be the negative events that can challenge your attitude.  There are 5 obstacles that we need to face in our lifetime. There are discouragement, change, problem, fear and failure. For now, I am going to cover discouragement.

If you let discouragement get inside you, it can conquer you from the inside out, and it will prevent you from achieving the success you desire.

Every individual gets discouraged from time to time. I am very sure we all have that one day, things do not go your way. They are also people around you that drain you with negative thoughts. They are toxic people that we need to stay away. As we get older, there are things get harder, and there are things get easier. That is what make life interesting!  This is known as growth!

Basically, there are two types of people when it comes to deal with discouragement. There are splatters and bouncers.  A splatter will hit the ground hard, they fall apart, and they stick at the bottom. A bouncer will hit the ground hard too. The difference is they pull together and bounce back. So, which one are you?  Here are the steps to be a bouncer.

  1. Get the right perspective

Take a good look at the whole picture. No matter how difficult things may be, there is always a reason to hope. Take a short look at the problem. Once we assess the problem, we need to focus on the solution. Assess yourself. Are you responding or reacting? Learn from successful people. Most of the successful people have one common trait. It is persistence! Check out people like Michael Jordan, Jack Ma and Dwayne Johnson known as The Rock. These people have been through the tough journey and achieve greatness.

2. See the right people

They are toxic people who drain you. They are tonic people who inspire you. Meet the right people, they will lift you up. Stay away from toxic people, they will not help to lift you up. Most of the time they will complain and find ways to discourage you. Tonic people are the one can give you hope. They can be your accountability partner of your performance. They keep track on what matters in life. There is a saying, “Show me your 5 closest friends and I will show you your future.

3. Use positive word

Another source of discouragement is self-talk. The Bible stated, “The word was made flesh…” Use positive word to convince yourself that this discouragement can be overcome. Dr. Eric Thomas favourite line; I CAN. I WILL. I MUST! Instead of saying, I hate my life! Say, this is interesting. How can I change that? You are what you say.

4. Have the right expectation.

Expectation needs to be realistic. In other words, remain flexible, and you cannot expect everything to go perfectly.  Unrealistic expectation will feed your discouragement. Keep it flexible! Positive perfectionists, set realistic goals and forgive themselves when they fall shorts.

5. Make the right decision.

This is the toughest part. The decision made will have a huge impact on our outlook. It is always important to make the right decision. A wrong decision will lead to more discouragement on us. This comes with experience. Over a period of time, we will learn and grow. The action is always the key!

When you face discouragement, you can do two things, and the one you choose will colour your perspective. You can look at others to place the blame, or you can look at yourself to discover your opportunities. The choice is yours!

The content was taken from the Difference Maker, written by John C. Maxwell and with a spice of my thought. Definitely, a book to read and highly recommended for those who want to learn to manage their attitude.