For those born before 1986
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - May 30, 2005 Posted: 8:19:45 PM EDT

We all live in a yellow submarine...a yellow submarine...a yellow submarine...
Taken from AllPosters.com

Sounds of laughter, shades of earth
Are ringing through my open views,
Inciting and inviting me.
Limitless, undying love
Which shines around me like a million suns,
It calls me on and on,
Across the universe.

~ Across The Universe, Beatles


I got this from Rhys Morton of Sure Holdings.
Thanks Rhys, this is funny in an old fogey kinda way...

According to today's regulators and bureaucrats, those of us who were kids in the 60's, 70's and early 80's probably shouldn't have survived....

Because our baby cots were covered with brightly coloured lead-based paint which was promptly chewed and licked?

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, or latches on doors or cabinets and it was fine to play with pans.

When we rode our bikes, we wore no helmets, just flip-flops and fluorescent 'spokey dokey's' on our wheels.

As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or airbags - riding in the passenger seat was a treat.

We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle and it tasted the same.

We ate chips, bread and butter pudding and drank fizzy juice with sugar in it, but we were never overweight because we were always outside playing.

We shared one drink with four friends, from one bottle or can and no-one actually died from this.

We would spend hours building go-carts out of scraps and then went top speed down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes.

After running into stinging nettles a few times, we learned to solve the problem.

We would leave home in the morning and could play all day, as long as we were back before it got dark. No one was able to reach us and no one minded.

We did not have Play stations or X-Boxes, no video games at all.

No 99 channels on TV, no videotape movies, no surround sound, no mobile phones, no personal computers, no DVDs, no Internet chat rooms.

We had friends - we went outside and found them.

We played elastics, and rounders, and sometimes that ball really hurt!

We fell out of trees, got cut and broke bones but there were no law suits.

We had full on fist fights but no prosecution followed from other parents.

We played knock-the-door-run-away and were actually afraid of the owners or the Police catching us.

We walked to friends' homes.

We also, believe it or not, WALKED or RODE BIKES to school; we didn't rely on mummy or daddy to drive us to school, which was just around the corner.

We made up games with sticks and tennis balls.

We rode bikes in packs of 7 and wore our coats by only the hood.

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke a law was unheard of...they actually sided with the law.

This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers and problem solvers and inventors, ever. The past 50 years have been an Explosion, of innovation and new ideas. We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all.  And you're one of them.

Congratulations! Pass this on to others who have had the luck to grow as real kids, before lawyers and government regulated our lives, for our own good. Allegedly….

For those of you who aren't old enough thought you might like to read about us. This my friends, is surprisingly frightening......and it might put a smile on your face: The majority of students in universities today were born in 1986........they are called youth.

They have never heard of we are the World, We are the children, and the Uptown Girl they know is by Westlife not Billy Joel. They have never heard of Rick Ashley, which is probably not a bad thing, Bananarama, Nena Cherry or Belinda Carlisle.

Kylie 'Locomotion' Minogue. WOW, she's been around...

For them, there has always been only one Germany and one Vietnam
. Michael Jackson has always been white.

To them John Travolta has always been round in shape and they can't imagine how this fat guy could be a god of dance. They believe that Charlie's Angels and Mission Impossible are films from last year.

They can never imagine life before computers. They'll never have pretended to be the A-Team, Red Hand Gang or The Famous Five. They'll never have applied to be on Jim'll Fix It or Why Don't You?

They can't believe a black and white television ever existed. And they will never understand how we could leave the house without a mobile phone.

Now let's check if we're getting old.

  1. You understand what was written above and you smile.
  2. You need to sleep more, usually until the afternoon, after a night out.
  3. Your friends are getting married/already married.
  4. You are always surprised to see small children playing comfortably with computers.
  5. When you see teenagers with mobile phones, you shake your head.
  6. You remember watching Dirty Den in EastEnders the first time around.
  7. You meet your friends from time to time, talking about the Good Old Days, repeating again all the funny things you have experienced together.
  8. Having read this mail, you are thinking of forwarding it to some other friends because you think they will like it too...

    Yes, you're getting old!!!

2 Comment(s)

Running On Empty
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - May 28, 2005 Posted: 12:33:52 PM EDT

He told her he's no longer in love with her.

He told her this 3 months after their big marriage do. 3 months after a poolside wedding with hundreds of family members, friends and colleagues. 3 months after a live-together relationship of 7 years.

No longer in love.

What a dude. Only a juvenile thinks love is a feeling to be savoured like an exotic fruit. Seeking fresh thrills with every bite. 

Running On Empty

For the next 5 years, she tried to carry on with her life. She told me how hard it was, running on empty. The shopping malls seemed to laugh at her window-shopping alone. Loving couples made her feel angry. Feeling angry made her feel ashamed. And the dark cinemas weren't a good refuge. They played out her loneliness even more, for all to see.

It was hard facing up to her family members. It was hard to assure mom and dad. It was hard to explain what happened and why. She didn't know why. She wanted someone to tell her why. 

For 5 years, she tried to pick up the pieces. And everytime she thought she could go on without him, he will come back asking for forgiveness, asking for a second chance. When she gave herself to him, he walked away.

He did that for 5 years.

And and all these time, she kept wanting to believe that her relationship will nurture her and sustain her through her journey. She thought she found the right one but realised finally it nearly sucked the life out of her.

And while he was at it, she was nursing her desire to be a mother. She was counting the days and holding down her yearnings for her babies as the big 35 swallowed her whole and pushed her out to the other side of being a woman.

I met her yesterday.

She was radiating with happiness. I was given a cup of coffee and a story of hope punctuated with laughters. She's got someone in her life again. They bought a home at Putra Heights.

I told her she better get me over her place for dinner some days. She said she will. But he's a little shy.

That's OK. It's alright.

I am so happy she's happy now.

I saw the longing for her babies still burning in her eyes.

There's still hope.

She's 37 with a heart filled with love.

3 Comment(s)

Authentic Brand
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - May 27, 2005 Posted: 11:26:22 AM EDT

What is branding? 

How do you work a 'brand identity' into your organization? How does branding work online, over the phone, on products packaging, face-to-face, etc?

The best way to brand is to LIVE YOUR BRAND.

To be what you say you are.

Being.

To eat, breathe, sleep and wake up with your brand.

One thing we all know is, people are sick of fakes. Sick of profit-minded businessmen types, sick of posers and deceivers, sick of selfish-manipulators, psuedo-industry players seeking out quick returns. Our world is not getting any better with these people hogging the limelight, having their hands on precious resources.

Branding is about Authenticity.

Branding is about living out the positive, life-sustaining, soul-resonating Values in Life. Branding is about having the character to act on those Values, having the Commitment to deliver those Values, having the spirit to serve others with those Values.

Branding is not the next catch-phrase to pursue. Identity is not the next trick you can use to milk more money out of others.

Stop kidding yourself about putting on a new skin. Stop spending millions in trying to manipulate people's minds in hope of higher ROI for your advertisements.

Seek out your organization's Reason for Being.

Find the place to serce.

Align your Life's compass.

Be. Real. Live. With. The. Passion. To. Serve.

Be Authentic.

Get Real.

Or Get Lost!

1 Comment(s)

If you think...
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - May 25, 2005 Posted: 11:02:35 AM EDT

I enjoy looking at people's car bumper stickers. It tells you a lot about the person driving the car. Some use bumper stickers to proclaim their religious beliefs loudly, some try to intimidate you, some try to seduce you.

The good ones make you laugh.

I saw a classic this morning. A beat-up red Kancil had this on its rear screen;

'If you think this car is cute, wait till you see the driver!'

I held my breath.

I walked pass on the right. 

I slowed down and I peeped.

Oh! Two aunties with thick, magnifying glasses-like spectacles, looking lost and unsure where to turn at a junction.

Errr.....

I hope the aunties finally got to where they'd wanted to go.

I hope it wasn't the driver who put up the bumper sticker.

If she did, I don't know what to think.

...

OK, she has a great sense of humor.

That's that.

Or her husband has a bad sense of humor?


Here are some mind-bending classics:

What on earth are you doing, for heaven's sake?
You are thinking and doing too much for yourself to deserve it.

Do you own a Honda?
Get out of here!

My other car is a Beemer
Right.

God Loves You.
But I am not sure your reckless driving is a good testimony.

If you can see this, you must do XYZ.
Corny.

Seen any good ones lately?

4 Comment(s)

Looking for Designer/Developer
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - May 24, 2005 Posted: 12:29:26 PM EDT

:::::STOP PRESS :::::

Hi there, 

XiMnet is looking for a multimedia developer. Do you know someone who wants to be a part of a team that is out to make a 'dent in this world'?

We are looking for someone with the passion and enthusiasm for the Internet and building websites and web applications. Also, he/she should have integrity, has an eye for design, is inspired to work hard, want to 'make a difference'.

We intend to TRAIN & DEVELOP this person to be an all rounder, hybrid-developer. O, we are good at developing people.

Fresh graduates is encouraged to apply.

Check out the full-requirements here, or

Apply through Jobstreet if that's what you prefer or send your resume to wileychin@ximnet.com.my  

  

1 Comment(s)

Life is like a mirror
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - May 20, 2005 Posted: 7:38:38 PM EDT

Darn, I am an ASS!?!

Life is like a mirror and will reflect back to the thinker what he thinks into it.
~ Ernest Holmes

1 Comment(s)

Problems
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - May 19, 2005 Posted: 5:21:29 PM EDT

'Neurosis is always a substitute for legitimate suffering.' 
~ Carl Jung
 

'Yet it is in this whole process of meeting and solving problems that life has its meaning…It is only because of problems that we grow mentally and spiritually…

As Benjamin Franklin said, 'Those things that hurt, instruct.'

It is for this reason that wise people learn not to dread but actually to welcome problems and actually to welcome the pain of problems. Most of us are not so wise. Fearing the pain involved, almost all of us, to a greater or lesser degree, attempt to avoid problems.

We procrastinate, hoping that they will go away. We ignore them, forget them, pretend they do not exist. We even take drugs to assist us in ignoring them, so that by deadening ourselves to the pain we can forget the problems that cause the pain. We attempt to skirt around problems rather than meet them head on. We attempt to get out of them rather than suffer through them.

This tendency to avoid problems and the emotional suffering inherent in them is the primary basis of all human mental illness'

The Road Less Travelled 
~ M Scott Peck,

0 Comment(s)

I know I have a wrong client when...
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - May 19, 2005 Posted: 9:10:18 AM EDT

You know you are face-to-face with a wrong client when he asks you,

'So why are you charging me for design.'

'I only want a simple website, no need to design so much?'

But how do you explain to him that, simplicity is not simple to design?

It doesn't help when you know he runs a big multi-million dollar business in an industry where the products are valued and bought for their designs. And he complains about people not taking his products seriously. And that the competition is too tough.

Design is the differentiator, my friend.

Good design. That's worth a lot of money.

And there's no such thing as no design. Just bad design.

Look at the world around you. Do you want to take on China for manufacturing cheap products?

No kidding. 

2 Comment(s)

The Journey of Dragon Slayers
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - May 19, 2005 Posted: 9:01:20 AM EDT

He said, 'Come to the edge'.
They said, 'No, we're afraid we'll fall.'
'Come to the edge', He said.
'No, we're afraid we'll fall.'
'Come to the edge', He said again.
They came.
He pushed them.
And they flew.


She had been walking around wounded for a few months as she struggles with her workload and responsibilities. For the last 2 weeks, it became apparent that she needed help. It took a single question to draw the tears.

'How are you coping?'

Faith broke down and cried.

But surely there's nothing to be ashamed of to cry. Faith should not be ashamed of her tears. Sometimes the walls of our lives get washed away by unrelenting waves of panic and worries as we struggle to stay above the unending flow and ebb of deadlines and crises.  

But that's just what our daily existence can do to us if we dare to walk along the shorelines of Life. A life between the known and the whispering unknown. 

You can retreat into isolated interiors of your mind or hide along those hard-to-reach crags, untouched by the ebb and flow of Life. Untouched by fickle bonds of human relationships. Undisturbed by dreams and aspiration or the quest for self-actualization. You can bury your head in the sands of self-righteous religiosity. You can be surely be safe behind your self-protecting excuses and reality-warping denials. (Though I doubt it can be for long).  But if you are like me and certainly like Faith, you want to live your life and take on that journey along the road less travelled towards spiritual discovery.  

But the journey on the chosen road is a hard one. And the road might unfold right in-front of you with no signs and no stops in sight. And often it shows no indication of an ending being near. Not even over that corner you think you are seeing. And when you thirst, there will be no water in sight. Perhaps you might find an old abandoned well with brown dust and river pebbles at the bottom. But you will need to dig under the dust with your own hands. You might find water but very often its too muddy to do you any good.

Sometimes you will hear the sound of the surfs rushing in onto a distant shore. But you can't find your way to meet the sea.

In tears, Faith said something that reminded me of how it has been.

'I feel so alone. It feels so lonely. My friends, they can't seem to understand what I am going through. And my mom, I don't want to be like her, I don't think she can understand me. I want to live my life and go further than her. I wished I have a friend, someone I can share these feelings with.'

Sword of Intention, Dragon Slayer
Faith needed the courage to accept the responsibility for own her weaknesses, even if it means admitting she's not good enough by herself. She needs the discipline to plan her work and deligence to build a system of prioritization and step-by-step execution so that she can unburden the abstractions of issues and problems in projects into actionable steps. 

That requires practise.

But Faith knows she is not a natural with systems. But being who she is, she has the belief that she can learn it and practise it and grow. Integrating new skills is certainly her strength. 

She believes.

For those who believe, doors open in front of them.

But let's return to the journey talk. 

In our darkest moments, we often find ourselves alone. Friends invariably become foes. Loved ones become inflamed persecutors with a viciousness only the closest to our hearts can harbor. But it is also in our darkest hours that we will find the most beautiful gift in our journey through Life.

Self-Knowledge.

And its twin, Knowledge of Others.

And with that, you might discover the Reason for being. And with the Reason for being, comes the Sword of Intention and your Armour of Will. 

But if only you have the Courage to journey into the deep Night, you will find them waiting for you. With them as your journey companions, you are ready to be inducted as one of the Dragon Slayers.

But don't fret if you haven't found the path...the dark Night of Life will seek you out one day. It will smell you out and it will nose its way to your slumbering repose. 

It's meant to be that way.

Because you were born to be reborn.

Cry if you must...but don't run away...

And remember.

Find the Sword of Intention and Armor of Will after the Night disappear unto itself. 

And then, carry on with the journey.

0 Comment(s)

Stars in the Sky
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - May 17, 2005 Posted: 12:21:39 PM EDT

I had Chi-yi playing over my car stereo while driving home from work last night. Yes, that famous Taiwanese singer of the 80s and 90s.

Erm...

Let me put this within context.

I grew up listening to a lot of Mandarin songs, from the 70s to the 80s and the 90s. Sure I had my hard rock and country music fixes in massive doses throughout this time but Mandarin songs were really a part of my diet too.

I like telling people I think in English but I feel in Mandarin.

OK-lah, I joke in Malay-lah.

Odd?

Malaysian-mah!?

I know all the songs that Dama Orchestra plays. I also know those cheesy 4/4 beat Taiwanese tunes (mostly Japanese covers) of the 70s. I even know those the sleazy cha-chas tunes spoofed to fame by P-C-K. My neighbor used to play them and cha-cha like silly wearing white flare-pants and a tight-fitting stripped shirt, unbottoned to his chest to show off his thick gold-chain.

But let's get back to my story.

Chi-yi has a great voice, a classically-trained soprano-ish vocal. Some of her earlier hits are really good. They have this deep yearning and longing qualities about them.

A little ditty-like song called 'Stars in the Sky' started playing when I was driving home last night on the Federal highway, along the Sunway exit stretch. I think it is a little poem scored into a song by Li Tai-xiang but I am not sure.

The Stars in the Sky
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
The stars in the sky,
I wonder why they look so crowded high above,
The people on this earth,
I wonder why they are like the stars in the sky,
So far apart. 

For that moment, I made an conscious effort to look up into the sky from the right corner of my windscreen. But I didn't see any stars. The street lights and the billboards were too bright for the stars above.

 

0 Comment(s)

Courage To Be
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - May 16, 2005 Posted: 1:59:32 PM EDT

I am reading The Rebel Rules by Chip Conley. I picked up a quote from the book that makes a lot of sense to me.

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage.
~ Anais Nin.

How often do we run away when we need to confront?

How often do we lose our ways simply because we daren't look at our 'moments of truth' in-the-eye ?

How small do we become and how helpless do we sound when we back down when all we need is to step up and face the challenge?

What can't kill you make you stronger.

Courage.

To be.

Live it.

Do it.

Save your words for another day.

To celebrate!

The Rebel Rules : Daring to be Yourself in Business

Rebel Rules: Daring to Be Yourself in Business

Chip Conley, Richard Branson


Chip Conley photo
Taken from http://www.jdvhospitality.com

When I took the Hotel Matchmaker test these are the words I selected:
Serene/Soulful, Creative/Eclectic, Colorful/Unique, Worldly/Sensual, Visionary/Artistic

My favorite activities include:
Climbing the various stairways of San Francisco (my favorites are the Filbert Steps in Telegraph Hill and the Vulcan Steps above the Castro); The café culture of people talking about world events, scribbling away in their journals, or just enjoying the beautiful light of an autumn afternoon; Great ethnic eateries from the sushi on toyboats at Isobune (1737 Post, 415.563.1030) in Japantown to the cheap and greasy but delicious House of Nanking (919 Kearny, 415.421.1429) to the spicy Indian Oven (233 Fillmore, 415.626.1628), The multiplicity of entertainment from experimental theater to Broadway shows to virtually every band traveling the world; Playing basketball, water polo or doing yoga. I love the fact that San Francisco is restoring its landmarks like the new Asian Art Museum (200 Larkin, 415.581.3500), Conservatory of Flowers (JFK Drive, Golden Gate Park, 415.661.7001) and the Ferry Building on the waterfront (The Embarcadero at Market Street, 415.274.0400).

I was born and raised in:
Born just a few blocks from Disneyland and grew up in Long Beach, CA

I currently live:
San Francisco’s Potrero Hill

What do I do to make a buck?:
Started Joie de Vivre Hospitality when I was 26 (didn’t know any better)

5 things I love about the San Francisco Bay Area:
(1) Spiritual experiences on the peaks and in the valleys – whether it’s the European-style Grace Cathedral perched atop exclusive Nob Hill or Glide Memorial Church in the rough-and-tumble Tenderloin, this city is full of inclusive churches with a wide variety of mystical experiences…at Glide, the “service” is called a “celebration” and for good reason as the gospel choir will have you up on your feet swaying. (2) The artistic spirit of the place whether it’s the youthful experimentation at the Art Institute on Russian Hill or the architecturally-odd work of Brian Goggin at the corner of 6th and Howard Street (called “Defenestration” ,which means “throwing out the window”, you’ll see sofas, refrigerators, and all kinds of house furnishings falling out of this decaying apartment building – Brian’s parking meters can be seen in the courtyard at the Phoenix Hotel) or 1st Thursday art openings at the Union Square galleries which brings out an interesting crowd each month. (3) Golden Gate Park on Sundays when the cars aren’t allowed in the park – rollerbladers, kids on little bikes, families with picnics, runners galore all converge on this remarkable piece of land (which was originally just one big sand dune until it was tamed by John McLaren) – my favorites are the arboretum, the waterfall at Stow Lake, and the opera and theater in the park. (4) The availability of nature escapes so close to the city from the hidden beaches along Highway One from here to Santa Cruz and the great hiking and biking trails of Mount Tamalpais. (5) The people – say you’re a “San Franciscan” somewhere else in the world and the person immediately thinks you’re a sexually-ambidextrous, politically-anarchistic, patriotically-challenged soul…that may be true, but quite frankly, it’s hard to categorize the typical San Franciscan since we are such a diverse and changeable lot…suffice it to say, when I say I’m from San Francisco, most people in the world get a little starry-eyed and say “boy, I wish I could live there.”

Read more about Chip Conley here:
http://www.jdvhospitality.com/locals/local/83

It's your Life.

LIVE IT.

Make a difference!

 

0 Comment(s)

Not Getting Results?
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - May 13, 2005 Posted: 10:34:35 AM EDT

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Einstein
Image from www.scenta.co.uk

Albert Einstein

1 Comment(s)

Shooting the Sequel/After Sepet/Gubra
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - May 12, 2005 Posted: 6:19:19 PM EDT

Taken from Yasmin Ahmad's website:

The Red Volvo
Abah tak setuju la, dengan perangai budak-budak sekarang macam Jason itu,
jual CVD la, buat kerja tak baik, macam-macam, gangsterism la...


'Some news about Gubra. Rehearsals scheduled to start late June. Shooting scheduled to begin end August or early September....'

Catch the latest at Yasmin Ahmad's website http://yasminthestoryteller.blogspot.com/

1 Comment(s)

Generation Me!
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - May 11, 2005 Posted: 7:31:21 PM EDT

I bumped into my past sociology professor last Sunday. He taught me as an undergraduate at University of Malaya. 

He looked the same, perhaps slightly older. He was not your usual Prof. He looked the part for the course he taught, Criminology & The Sociology of Deviant Behaviors.

I meant that as a compliment. 

I remember what a great time I had with the course. I enjoyed reading and researching into all the theories about deviant behaviors, the problems of juvenile delinquency, the dark figure of crimes, etc. Well, that’s what I can remember now…I am sure we covered more grounds than that. We made field trips to prisons and other correctional institutions such as the Pengkalan Chepa Prison, Kelantan and the Kajang prison of Selangor.

I remember listening to a band of prisoners at Pengkalan Chepa, jamming the song “Suci Dalam Debu”; moody sliding bass, sad guitar licks matched with self-pitying vocals and all. All this while waiting for an hour in the afternoon heat for the permission to enter the prison grounds.  

It must have been 15 years since.

Prof. and I talked a bit.

I hesitated at first but later mentioned to him that I’ve read in the papers his wife, previously a Dean of the Faculty of Law had passed away a year or two ago. He nodded that is was true.

He said it has been difficult since.

We somehow latched on to the topic of the kinds of undergraduates we have today. Prof. told me that we have a serious problem of kids who want to spoon-fed. He said a lot has been said about the lack of quality within the teaching profession. He said not enough has been discussed about the lack of character and intellectual brilliance amongst our undergraduates today.

Is that true?

I know it’s true as far as my experience is concerned.

Unhinged, aimless lives lived with nihilistic decadence. 

This is a generation who grew up amidst the comfort of the 80s and the easy wealth of the flourishing 90s. And they are now entering the workforce.

Think about this. They live amidst 1st world luxuries and at the same time are trapped within a 3rd world's systemic transformation that is unraveling around them. The shift in the foundation of our economy and the dismantling of our manufacturing-based economy coupled with the urgent need to push towards a knowledge-based economy; are they equipped to contribute? Do they have the fire and discipline to fight like their fore-fathers?

Do they even understand?

After 30 minutes of conversation, I said goodbye to Prof. and we went our separate ways. As a parting word, Prof. said that we need to produce more people who can create jobs.

Yes that’s true.

I think we urgently need to fix our education system. And somebody’s got to stop the next generation from getting their hands on wealth they didn’t earn with their own sweat and tears.

Easy money corrupts.

Anyway, I don’t think it’s going to be easy anymore. So there’s no need to worry about that.

Yes, one less worry.        

 

2 Comment(s)

Jack Welch : Winning & Straight from the Gut
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - May 11, 2005 Posted: 12:41:37 PM EDT

I have recently taken a preference to reading biographies and auto-biographies. Rudy Guliani, Gandhi, Lee Iacocca, John Paul II and a few others. I believe there's a lot to be learned and gleaned from the lives of such great leaders; people who have transcended the realities of their lives with their spirit and made an impact on the lives of their fellow human-beings.

Some of them changed the course of human history with the force of their visions and the strength of their convictions.

I am currently reading the biography of John Paul II or Karol Wojtyla, the great Pope who passed away recently. It's enlightening to learn that the life of Karol Wojtyla was very much influenced by the deaths of his loved ones when he was still very young and how it in turn molded and raised a great leader unto this world. 

Life and its mysteries.

I am also reading Jack Welch's WINNING. I like Jack Welch's leadership style and his straight-talking books. I admire Jack's leadership style. Tough, fair and heart-felt. 

What he'd done with GE is inspiring.

Absolutely! 

Here's a passage from Chapter 5, Leadership: It's Not Just About You.

'One day, you become a leader.

On Monday, you're doing what comes naturally, enjoying your job, running a project, talking and laughing with colleagues about life and work, and gossiping about how stupid management can be. Then on Tuesday, you are management. You're a boss.

Suddenly, everything feels different - because it is different. Leadership requires distinct behaviors and attitudes, and for many people, they debut with the job.

Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.' 

What Leaders Do

1.     Leaders relentlessly upgrade their team, using every encounter as an opportunity to evaluate, coach and build self-confidence.

2.     Leaders make sure people not only see the vision, they live and breathe it.

3.     Leaders get into everyone's skin, exuding positive energy and optimism.

4.     Leaders establish trust with candor, transparency, and credit.

5.     Leaders have the courage to make unpopular decisions and gut calls.

6.     Leaders probe and push with a curiosity that borders on skepticism, making sure their questions are answered with action.

7.     Leaders inspire risk taking and learning by setting the example.

8.     Leaders celebrate.

Jack Welch on Winning 
Winning
by Jack Welch, Suzy Welch


Jack Welch
Jack: Straight from the Gut
by Jack Welch, John A. Byrne


Jack Welch on Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Welch
 

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Adam & Eve
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - May 7, 2005 Posted: 12:34:14 PM EDT

Of all the jokes I've heard, there's only one that I would rate as a 5 stars joke.

Here goes;

Adam and Eve couldn't have been Chinese. Why?

Because they would have eaten the Snake.





Yes, I know. ;-) 

1 Comment(s)

Live Today
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - May 6, 2005 Posted: 3:02:07 PM EDT

To all those who are waiting for someone, something, some events, some signs, some miracles to make you complete and/or happy, without any more pain or sufferings in this life, this one's for you, wherever you are.

'When I was a teenager I thought love would solve everything.
In my early twenties I thought sex would solve everything.
By my late twenties, I thought a career would solve everything.
At 30, I thought marriage would solve everything,
and then--when it didn't--I was sure that motherhood would.
By my late thirties, following a brief period of certainty that therapy would solve everything,
I became convinced that divorce would solve everything.
At 40, I was sure an extension would solve everything
(and, frankly, the ensuite came damn close).
Now edging 50, imagine my surprise to find that I am as f..ked up as ever.
But seriously folks.
A few years ago it hit me that the only solution left was to stop looking for one.'

~ Susan Maushart,
article in The Weekend Australian Magazine, 16-17 April 2005


What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why

What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why,
I have forgotten, and what arms have lain
Under my head till morning; but the rain
Is full of ghosts tonight, that tap and sigh
Upon the glass and listen for reply,
And in my heart there stirs a quiet pain
For unremembered lads that not again
Will turn to me at midnight with a cry.
Thus in winter stands the lonely tree,
Nor knows what birds have vanished one by one,
Yet knows its boughs more silent than before:
I cannot say what loves have come and gone,
I only know that summer sang in me
A little while, that in me sings no more.

Sonnet XLIII ~ Edna St. Vincent Millay
From Collected Poems by Edna St. Vincent Millay, published by Harper & Brothers Publishers.
Copyright © 1956 by Norma Millay Ellis.
 

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WOW! It's Tom Peters!
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - May 6, 2005 Posted: 11:25:17 AM EDT

I made it through Tom Peters book, Reimagine! sometime ago! Phew!

REIMAGINE! by Tom PetersWhat's the big deal?

It's one thing to listen to Tom Peters speaking 'LIVE'. It's quite another to 'read' a book with his attitude, thoughts and words hitting you in the face at every turn. 

It was like Tom Peters was shouting out of the book, wild gestulations, spitters, hoarse voice and all. But that's what Tom wanted it to be anyway. He wanted to create a 'business NOT AS USUAL business book'. Yep. He said it somewhere in the intro of this book published by Dorling Kindersley, UK.


Here's the good news!

Today, I discovered that everything he is saying in his book Reimagine!, he has compiled into a manifesto called ' This I Believe! - Tom's 60 TIBs.'

Good stuffs!

You can download it below!


Enjoy!

Yeah, you are welcome! :-)

PS. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the manifesto. Download the free Reader from Adobe !

PPS. Oh, get a face towel handy

Tom Peters!
Visit Tom Peters website!
  

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Problems & Pain
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - May 5, 2005 Posted: 12:36:50 PM EDT

'Life is difficult.

This is a great truth, one of the greatest truth.

It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know life is difficult - once we truly understand and accept it - then life is no longer difficult.

Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.'

Here's what Scott Peck suggests in the book, in our attempt to navigate the journey along the road.

  • Delayed gratification.
  • Acceptance of responsibility.
  • Dedication to truth
  • Balancing

M. Scott Peck
Image taken from http://www.mscottpeck.com/ 

The Road Less Travelled
~ M. Scott Peck  

3 Comment(s)

Nescafe-0 Kosong & Getting What You Want
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - May 4, 2005 Posted: 2:00:05 PM EDT

We don't always get what we want in life. Sometimes it's just simple things that we want. And we want to pay for them. But we can't have them.

On a good day, if you think about it, it can be funny. But there are days when you wished you'll get what you really want because anything else will not be good enough.

Flo and I went for lunch with Brian Cracknell, the CEO of Language Works SB just now. Brian ordered rice with steamed chicken but he had to eat steamed rice with roasted chicken.

We had one disappointed Englishman... ;-). 

Nah, Brian is an old-hand in Malaysia but he raised some interesting thoughts. Are we tolerating mediocrity in our lives and getting it rubbed onto our faces every so often?  

You get what I mean?

I like to drink Nescafe without sugar or cream. I need my daily fixes of 5 cups from 8.00 am to 6.00 pm. Once in a while when I am out for a sales call or travelling, I can't fix my own Nescafe-O kosong. It's at times like this that I find myself having to convince people who are incredulous about my need for this 'vile tasting potion'. But I really like it. It's not killing me or hurting anyone else, so I think I am entitled to drink it. :-)

Over-consumption of sugar kills, no?

Nescafe-0 Kosong?

I bet you if we stop Malaysians from indulging on their teh-tarik habits regularly, we will be able to immediately bring our nation's diabetes epidemic under control and reduce the costs of managing our nation's public health system.
 
Mamaks and most Malaysian restaurants make good teh-tarik but terrible Nescafe-0 kosong. Some days, I can't even get them to make a lousy version of what I want to drink.

One lady restaurant operator near Taman Sea Park, in particular, always trip over my order. Here's the scenario most days when I try to get what I want;

Lady : What you want to drink?

Me : Nescafe-0 kosong

Lady : Nescafe-0 kosong...?

Me : Yes, Nescafe-0 kosong.

Lady : Nescafe-0 kosong is Nescafe with no milk...and no sugar wor...(Her face frowning)

Me : Yes. ( I smile at her)

Lady : That one cannot drink la...very bitter mah...

Me : I don't like sugar in my Nescafe, Auntie. (I smile at her again...)

Lady : Oh, but it's very bitter one...

Me : I like it that way, auntie...(Looking at her earnestly...smiling)

She goes to make the drink.

I'll invariably have to drink Nescafe-0 with sugar. Sometimes I'll get Nescafe with condensed milk without sugar. I've learnt since. Now I just order Kopi-0 kosong. I will get Kopi-0 kosong.

But it's bad. I don't want Kopi-0 kosong. I want Nescafe-0 Kosong.

How do I fix this 'Aunty of All Mediocrities'?

;-) 

Anyway, I still make the 'bestest Nescafe-0 kosong'.

Bitter to the last drop...

2 Comment(s)

You've made a difference...
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - May 3, 2005 Posted: 9:12:36 PM EDT

Go to Kakiseni.com
Krishen was born on 10 July, 1939, in KL. His contribution to the country and the world of arts has been immeasurable.  

Taken from Kakiseni.com

0 Comment(s)

Sophie's World: A Novel about the History of Philosophy
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - May 3, 2005 Posted: 4:04:56 PM EDT

I think it was three years ago when my good friend NY passed me a book and said I should read it.

NY was working at Accenture then and he was into books big-time. At that phase of my life, I wasn't really interested in revisiting my philosophy course. I thought NY needed his philosophy fix since he's a Physics graduate. I crammed all my western philosophy stuffs while doing my first degree.

I was the informed one! ;-)

Yeah, it's been years since lectures and tutorials but well, I wasn't up to reading it that time. :-)

Yesterday, with Li-ann (9) and Wesley (3) holed inside my room, the air-con set at 22 celcius and the fan at the 3rd speed, I picked up Sophie's World: A Novel about the History of Philosophy and started reading it.

It started brilliantly.

Philosophy expounded gently within an intriguing plot centered around a 15 years old girl. Oh yes, perhaps it's because I had great company. Li-ann was reading Min-Fong Ho's 'Sing to the Dawn' and then Pearl S. Buck's 'The Good Earth' while Wesley was playing Pinball on my PC, making cute noises and funny actions everytime he launched the pinballs with his little fingers tapping on the spacebar. 

Sophie

Sophie's World: A Novel about the History of Philosophy
Check out the reviews at Barnes and Noble.

This one is THICK!

So I think I might take a while with it and I will most probably read it along with other lightweights. If I do survive it, I might say something, later. ;-)

Don't hold your breath... 

0 Comment(s)

The Donald
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - May 3, 2005 Posted: 3:37:32 PM EDT

I've never watched a single episode of Donald Trumph's, 'The Apprentice'. But since there are just so many glowing reviews about the show and the 'You're fired!' tagline, I thought I would read his book to know a little more about this phenomenon called 'The Donald'. 

I picked up a copy of 'Donald Trumph: How to Get Rich' at MPH, Subang Parade last Saturday.

Donald Trumph : How to Get Rich
Donald Trump : How to Get Rich


What a mistake...I read it all in 2 hours. It was mostly fluff, sadly. Nothing original. Nothing inspiring. Maybe just this 'attitude' and this 'brashness' that perhaps some of us worship as his genius. OK, he's a straight talker. He calls a spade a spade. He dares. Yes, he's rich, no doubt. 

But I think the world needs only one The Donald.  

Just one.

Enough.

0 Comment(s)

Remembering...Part 2
by Chief Alchemist a.k.a Wiley Chin - May 3, 2005 Posted: 3:24:42 PM EDT

My father was an immigrant from Hainan Island, China.

When I was a child, father loved telling me the stories of his life. And I liked listening to them. Some of his stories were funny, some sad and some downright lewd.

But that’s my father.

He had a mind full of lofty thoughts but a mouth that can sometimes spew obscenities that you wouldn’t dare to put them down on a piece of paper.

Father told me his life changed one Chinese New Year day when he was about 5 years old. On that fateful day, father went out alone to Hai-Kou town to watch a Lion Dance performance. Somehow the pounding drums and gongs made him feel a little fearful inside. He felt like it was a bad omen. So he ran back to his home in the village for his mother.

When he reached home, he discovered his mother was already dead on her bed.  He never found out why.

Father ran out of his house like he was pursued by the devil himself. He jumped over a raised barrier at the entrance of his house but tripped and skinned his knees and chipped his teeth. With blood flowing from his cut lips, he ran to his uncle’s house and told him what he had discovered.

A month later, on the suggestions of his relatives, Father boarded a boat and headed to the south of Hainan Island with the South China Sea. He landed in Bangkok where Uncle Chip had settled down. A series of incidents and decisions saw Father moved from Bangkok to Malacca to Singapore and finally settling down in Kulai, Johor.

It was in Kulai that he lived most of his life, pursued his dream, brought into this world 8 children with a wife half his age and took the blows of sufferings brought upon by his own shadow.

He passed away at the age of 75 without attaining his dream.

No land, no wealth and no legacy that he can hand down to his children. Only the torn of an unfinished dream.

But before he passed away, one night about 15 years ago at around 2.00 a.m., Father woke Mother from her sleep when he started making strange, garbled sounds while lying in bed. Then he limped into the hall which was glowing in red with long shadows cast by the altar lights where our ancestor tablet was. In the hall, I saw him speaking in a hoarse whisper, wide-eyed, gesturing like he was possessed. Mother who had followed him into the hall was standing beside him, both their shadows merged into the seemingly liquid, red wall.

Suddenly Mother broke down into piteous wails and started slapping Father repeatedly on his face.   

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Wiley Chin
Chief Alchemist
XiMnet Malaysia Sdn. Bhd.

An alchemist of the Internet and marketing strategies, leading the charge to put our creative and software talents into serving companies who are out to slay the global giants. Also known as Chief of Caffeine Consumption and hallucinates between projects. Yes, that accounts for his “giant slaying” stuff.

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