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Monday, May 25, 2015

Material Happiness Never Lasts

Power of Money

By Adam Khoo ( Singapore's youngest millionaire at 26 yrs.)

Some of you may already know that I travel around the region pretty frequently, having to visit and conduct seminars at my offices in Malaysia , Indonesia , Thailand and Suzhou ( China ) . I am in the airport almost every other week so I get to bump into many people who have attended my seminars or have read my books.

Recently, someone came up to me on a plane to KL and looked rather shocked. He asked, 'How come a millionaire like you is traveling economy?' My reply was, 'That's why I am a millionaire. ' He still looked pretty confused.

This again confirms that greatest lie ever told about wealth (which I wrote about in my latest book 'Secrets of Self-Made Millionaires'). Many people have been brainwashed to think that millionaires have to wear Gucci, Hugo Boss, Rolex, and sit on first class in air travel. This is why so many people never become rich because the moment they earn more money, they think that it is only natural that they spend more, putting them back to square one.

The truth is that most self-made millionaires are frugal and only spend on what is necessary and of value. That is why they are able to accumulate and multiply their wealth so much faster.

Over the last 7 years, I have saved about 80% of my income while today I save only about 60% (because I have my wife, mother in law, 2 maids, 2 kids, etc. to support). Still, it is way above most people who save 10% of their income (if they are lucky).

I refuse to buy a first class ticket or to buy a $300 shirt because I think that it is a complete waste of money. However, I happily pay $1,300 to send my 2-year old daughter to Julia Gabriel Speech and Drama without thinking twice.

When I joined the YEO (Young Entrepreneur's Orgn) a few years back (YEO is an exclusive club open to those who are under 40 and make over $1m a year in their own business), I discovered that those who were self-made thought like me. Many of them with net worth well over $5 m, travelled economy class and some even drove Toyotas and Nissans, not Audis, Mercs, BMWs..

I noticed that it was only those who never had to work hard to build their own wealth (there were also a few ministers' and tycoons' sons in the club) who spent like there was no tomorrow. Somehow, when you did not have to build everything from scratch, you do not really value money. This is precisely the reason why a family's wealth (no matter how much) rarely lasts past the third generation.

Thank God my rich dad foresaw this terrible possibility and refused to give me a cent to start my business.

Then some people ask me, 'What is the point in making so much money if you don't enjoy it?' The thing is that I don't really find happiness in buying branded clothes, jewellery or sitting first class. Even if buying something makes me happy it is only for a while, it does not last.

Material happiness never lasts, it just gives you a quick fix. After a while you feel lousy again and have to buy the next thing which you think will make you happy. I always think that if you need material things to make you happy, then you live a pretty sad and unfulfilled life..

Instead, what makes me happy is when I see my children laughing and playing and learning so fast. What makes me happy is when I see my companies and trainers reaching more and more people every year in so many more countries.

What makes me really happy is when I read all the emails about how my books and seminars have touched and inspired someone's life.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

True Professionalism

Shiv Khera's experience in Singapore:

Six years ago in Singapore I gave a taxi driver a business card to take me to a particular address. At the last point, he circled round the building. His meter read 11$, but he took only 10. I said Henry, your meter reads 11$ how come you are taking only 10. He said Sir, I am a taxi driver, I am supposed to be bringing you straight to the destination. Since I did not know the last spot, I had to circle around the building.

Had I brought you straight here, the meter would have read 10$. Why should you be paying for my ignorance? He said Sir, legally, I can claim 11$, but ethically I am entitled to only 10. He further added that Singapore is a tourist
destination and many people come here for three or four days. After clearing the immigrations and customs, the first experience is always with the taxi driver and if that is not good, the balance three to four days are not pleasant either.

He said Sir I am not a taxi driver, I am the Ambassador of Singapore without a diplomatic passport.

In my opinion, he probably did not go to school beyond the 8th grade, but to me he was a professional. To me, his behavior reflected pride in performance and character. That day I learned that one needs more than professional qualification to be a professional.

In one line be a "Professional with a human touch and Values " that makes all the more difference.

Knowledge, skill, money, education, all comes later. First comes Integrity.

“It’s NOT the job you DO,
It’s HOW you DO the job.”

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Delay Your Judgement

A lovely little girl was holding two apples with both hands.

Her mum came in and softly asked her little daughter with a smile: my sweetie, could you give your mum one of your two apples?

The girl looked up at her mum for some seconds, then she suddenly took a quick bite on one apple, and then quickly on the other.

The mum felt the smile on her face freeze. She tried hard not to reveal her disappointment.

Then the little girl handed one of her bitten apples to her mum and said: mummy, here you are. This is the sweeter one.

No matter who you are, how experienced you are, and how knowledgeable you think you are, always delay judgement.  Give others the privilege to explain themselves. What you see may not be the reality. Never conclude for others.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Trouble Tree

"I hired a plumber to help me repair an old farmhouse.

He already had a rough and tiresome day.

  • a flat tire 
  • his electric drill fault
  • his old car broke down. 
  • his tiffin was spoilt
  • he lost his wallet
  • his bank was calling for loan repayments

In all the tension and stress, he finished my repairs.

Since his car broke down, I drove him home.
While I drove him home, he sat silently, but I could mark his agony and restlessness.

On arriving, he invited me in to meet his family.
As we walked toward the front door, he paused at a small tree, touching the tips of the branches with both hands and closed his eyes.

When the door opened, he was smiling and happy.

In seconds, he underwent an amazing transformation.

He hugged his two small children, gave his wife a kiss, laughed, and never even slightly made them feel the troubles that he had encountered that day.

I was astonished and curious. Seeing my inquisitive eyes, he said, “Oh, that's my Trouble Tree. My best friend.  My trouble carrier for the night”.

He replied. "I know I can't help having troubles on the job, but one thing's for sure. Those troubles don't belong in the house with my wife and the children. So I just hang them up on the tree every night when I come home and ask God to take care of them. Then in the morning I pick them up again.”

He smiled and shared a secret. He said, “when I come out in the morning to pick 'em up, there aren't nearly as many as I remember hanging there the night before!!”

Life may be a burden of worries, but there is a way to keep our loved ones untouched from these worries.

Time will heal every wound.

Whoever is tensed today,
look for a tree.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Stop Grabbing for More

In his book, Before Amen, Max Lucado tells the story of a lawyer who won a case for his client.

The two men celebrated with a nice dinner. At the end of the meal, the client handed the lawyer a fine wallet made of Moroccan leather.

“Please accept this as my token of appreciation.”

The lawyer resisted. “No, I can’t settle for a wallet. My fee is $500.”

The client looked at the lawyer and shrugged. “Whatever you say.”

He opened the wallet and extracted two $500 bills. He reinserted one and handed the lawyer the wallet.

This isn’t a story about lawyers, it’s a story about people.

It’s tempting sometimes to look at what life gives us and be ungrateful.

We think that others are getting a better deal than us or that we could do better, when perhaps what we have right now is all that we need and more.

Today I want to encourage you to look at your life with a sense of gratitude.

Count your blessings.

Stop grabbing for more.

Be satisfied with what you have.

Because maybe you have more than you realise!


Monday, March 30, 2015

Never Give Up

There was a boy named sparky who only faced failure in every work he did. Everyone treated him like a loser. He was not good in studies. He got bad marks in every subject. He failed the 8th grade in all subjects. He once tried his luck in football, but his team lost championship due to him. The only thing he could do well was drawing. He used to draw funny cartoons and showed them to others.

Sparky thought of submitting his drawings in school yearly magazine. He worked very hard and made some drawings. But he was rejected there also. Then after some days he saw an advt for learning graphic design. He submitted one of his school drawings there and he was fortunately accepted there to learn. Sparky worked hard to learn cartooning as he was the only child, his parents decided to pay high tuition fee of the course. Sparky passed the Art Instruction School course.

Sparky now applied to Walt Disney Art Studios. He wanted to make cartoons for Disney and was confident that he will not be rejected this time. Sparky submitted his cartoon but he was rejected again and he was not even admitted to school. He failed again. Because of his failures he was sent to work for the army. During World War 2, he only had one opportunity to fire his machine gun but forgot to load it. He was able to save his life because the German soldier he was firing surrendered.

Now sparky started making a comic strip. He decided to tell his own story through comics. The main character in the comic strip was a loser boy who failed in everything he tried. He tried to publish his story in a local newspaper and gave money for publishing it. After some time, his comic started getting popular. Now newspaper asked him to make more comics. His comics became so popular that it published daily from October 1950 to January 2000.

Sparky the man who never gave up after failing so many times was Charles Schulz and the World famous comic name is Peanuts. Peanuts ran in over 2,600 newspapers, with a readership of 355 million in 75 countries, and was translated into 21 languages.

Never give up, and be confident in what you do. There may be tough times, but the difficulties which you face will make you more determined to achieve your objectives and to win against all the odds.

By Prem Gupta
Credit: The Logical Indian

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Do Not Waste Food

Germany is a highly industrialized country. In such a country, many will think its people lead a luxurious life.

When we arrived in Hamburg, my colleagues walked into the restaurant, we noticed that a lot of tables were empty. There was a table where a young couple was having their meal. There were only two dishes and two cans of beer on the table. I wondered if such simple meal could be romantic, and whether the girl will leave this stingy guy.

There were a few old ladies on another table. When a dish is served, the waiter would distribute the food for them, and they would finish every bit of the food on their plates.

As we were hungry, our local colleague ordered more food for us.When we left, there was still about one-third of unconsumed food on the table.

When we were leaving the restaurant, the old ladies spoke to us in English, we understood that they were unhappy about us wasting so much food.

"We paid for our food, it is none of your business how much food we left behind," my colleague told the old ladies. The old ladies were furious. One of them immediately took her handphone out and made a call to someone. After a while, a man in uniform from Social Security organisation arrived. Upon knowing what the dispute was, he issued us a 50 Euro fine. We all kept quiet.


The mindset of people of this rich country put all of us to shame. WE REALLY NEED TO REFLECT ON THIS. We are from a country which is not very rich in resources. To save face, we order a large quantity and also waste food when we give others a treat.

(Courtesy: A friend who is now changed a lot)