What I’ve Learnt from Malaysia (1)

Going around the world is one of my dream. I dreamt of going to Thailand, Vietnam, Turkey, Russia, Italy, France and South Africa. However never had I thought that I would walk on the soil of Malaysia. But universe has its own plan and it never ceases to surprise me. Few days ago I was sent by my nice and great bosses to attend a 3-days workshop. I thought I might not be able to make it since I only knew about this workshop on the last day of the registration and it required me to pull off an analysis on an ad. But, once again, universe cast its magic and finally I flew to Malaysia.

To be honest, I didn’t expect much from Malaysia. I heard that it really resembled Jakarta and nothing would dazzle me. In short, people said that I would get bored in Malaysia.  However they were wrong. The beauty of Malaysia might not be in its landscape or its skyscrapers but it’s in the people.

During the workshop, I met amazing people with tremendous spirit. They played the game at a whole different level.  Amazing work ethics. During the workshop, we were tasked to solve a live brief. Though it’s only a workshop, they took it seriously. My group worked on it until 1 AM and up until the presentation time, we still debated on the strategic direction. Consisted of strong-headed thinkers, on the surface, it seemed that we’re getting nowhere but in fact, it just showed how big our passion were. I learnt a lot from them, to express your opinion freely with no fear in our search of finding the “truth”. As Mr. Karthik Siva (the trainer) said, “truth” without courage could only go so far.

Talking about courage, there’s a guy who went all the way, against the expected norm in society, opening up his own agency at the age of 23. Most people will choose to work in an established agency before venturing out on their own. However this guy saw an opportunity, he grabbed it and his agency has grown bigger in 5 years. Talking about commitment and audacity!

I often wondered how some people could get themselves to make their own way going against mainstream. Most people would judge them to be foolish and immature for taking bold decisions. Then after they succeeded, people would wonder why they couldn’t achieve the same thing.

The secret was, I observed and learnt in the workshop, “I can” + challenges. When you had that attitude, you could see through the underlying opportunity even the most difficult situation and hit the spot right. When you say ‘I can’, you put your heart in what you do. When brain and heart worked in sync, you created magic.

On the other hand, if we are already full of ‘I can’t’ even before starting to do whatever you set out to do, our eyes will be blurred by it and might miss the opportunity that sit in front of our eyes. We might complain that there’s no one or nothing to help us, but have we asked ourselves if it’s the case? People could do so much trying to help, but it’s all up to us. Will we take it or leave it?

Success rooted from how we set the expectation. If we only dare to set mediocre target, we will get mediocre result. I think no one should strive to be mediocre. We are blessed with brain, heart and spirit to create magic when we really want it. It’s the power of will. So I think, before we start complaining about our work, our lives, we should ask ourselves: what do we expect from ourselves and have we done enough to meet our expectation?


  1. I suppose the daring and audacious young entrepreneur had a calling that he had to fulfill. For him it would be unthinkable not to start a company which will satisfies what his soul had yearned to achieve.

    Who knows, if we listened hard we might actually heard similar yearnings that we had grown accustomed to ignore 🙂

    1. Yup. He did feel that yearning. He has his own vision that he longs to achieve. Most of us, including me, at some point, ignore our calling because we think that too much is at stake to pursue it. Perhaps by ignoring it, the cost is higher. And perhaps one day, as we sip our coffee on one morning, we’ll wonder where our passion has gone to and if we have turned empty. 😀

  2. Insighfull learning point..
    How simple to find the passion of our work..
    Give heart and focus would be created magic..
    Thanks for sharing your thought..

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