Monthly archives: August 2010

Being grateful…

A really inspiring video – be grateful for what you have… Nick Vujicic in this video is a quadriplegic and yet he lives life to the fullest. It reminded me to be thankful for the many blessings that I have…

Buka Puasa at Chow Kit

A big thank you to friends who came to break fast at Rumah Nur Salaam in Chow Kit yesterday. My wife has captured the evening beautifully with her post at goddessmoments. Do click to see the pictures.

Everyday I will….

I am writing this for all the procrastinators and perfectionists out there (you know who you are). It’s past the middle of the year. Many New Year resolutions about getting fit, eating right, etc are probably out the window.

This post is dedicated to three women I know. One is an artist in the South of France – yes life is tough. Another is a kitchen artiste who comes up with vegetarian food even a carnivore like me loves. Lastly it’s my wife, who takes amazing photos (among other things).

This year they have embarked on a daily commitment. Floating Lemons does a drawing a day, Delectable does a recipe a day and my wife does a picture a day (sometimes more) with a snappy witty paragraph to accompany it.

What does this do? It forces them to practice. If they are perfectionists, they have to get it out every day. It’s great practice and discipline. Why do they do this? Floating Lemons hones her drawing skills and forces her to draw one drawing a day. Delectable pushes herself to come up with different vegetarian recipes – sometimes based on limited ingredients. My wife has to post a photo a day, regardless of whether it passes her quality control.

How does this apply to the corporate world? If you want to improve yourself, then set yourself a target and try to practice on a regular scheduled basis. You don’t need to do it every day. For my column in live and inspire, I have to submit my articles every 2 weeks. Over time, I hope my writing skills will improve.

If you want to move careers, you may want to do one job application a day. Set aside 30 minutes for it. Chose the company you want and tailor your resume to it. If you want to learn more about negotiation, read an article a day and then graduate to books. Set yourself every Monday to assess your progress. Even more powerful, tell your friends what you are doing and have them be your coach.

Just as Rome wasn’t built in a day, it is starting this process that is the most difficult. Don’t worry if you fall off track. Get back on the wagon.

Key takeaways to starting a new habit a day at a time:

1. Do something you like. Do it on a regular basis – e.g. daily or weekly or bi-weekly.

2. Do declare it to your friends and enlist them to coach you on a weekly basis

3. Assess your performance weekly.

Using these techniques will help you develop your skills further and stay on track to success. In the words of Charles Noble “First we make our habits and then our habits make us”.

Company buka puasa at Rumah Nur Salaam Chow Kit

Ramadhan is a time when we reflect and pray. It is also a time when we appreciate what we have. The essence of fasting is to feel the thirst and hunger that people who can’t afford food suffer through.

As a company, we want to give to back to the community.We have sent an invitation to all our clients and friends to come to break fast at the Children’s Shelter at Chow Kit on the 26th of August 2010. Do come and join us if you can.

LESSONS FROM MY WEEKEND TENNIS MATCH via liveandinspire.com

This is my latest article on live and inspire. It applies lessons from my weekend tennis match to the business world.

Corp Talk : Playing to your strengths – Lessons from my weekend tennis match. By Juarez Lowe.

For many years my backhand has been the glaring weakness in my game. It’s the Father Christmas on court, giving my opponents countless free points (regardless of the season).

Eventually, I got fed up losing those points. I took a few hours of instruction on my backhand – tweaking the stroke. During my friendly games, I hit with abandon, often sending balls out of the court across state lines. It took a while and a lot of practice, but over the last year, my backhand steadily improved.

Lesson : Dare to fail.
Daring to fail is an essential part of improving yourself. Yes it isn’t easy. You will slip up on the long road. But it is essential that you try. “Nothing ventured, nothing gained”.

Had my weakness turned into a Federer-esque backhand hit with the precision of a Rolex? Absolutely not. Was it now no longer an error prone stroke? I still hit errors but a lot fewer than before. The backhand is now a shot that I can get back consistently and occasionally hit a winner or two.

Lesson – bring your weaknesses up to an acceptable level.
Sometimes you just can’t turn a weakness into strength. You just take it up to an acceptable level.

For a week or so, I played under the delusion that I now had a weapon in my backhand. My weekly tennis partners soon convinced me otherwise as did the score-line.

Lesson – Be realistic about your strengths and weaknesses.
Yes, you can ask your wife, dog, cat or other confidante to give their honest opinion. Apply this to your job and business and any other part of life. (The English football supporters in the recent world cup could learn this lesson).

When I worked with my coach he told me to run round my backhand and hit my forehand. This tactic is used by the pros. He told me I needed to get fit to do this. I worked on my fitness trying to cross train.

Lesson. Run round your backhand in work.
Don’t do something that you aren’t good at. Get your skills in this area up to an acceptable level and then work with someone who excels in this area. For this very reason, I hire lawyers, accountants, tax consultants, IT consultants and a detail-oriented PA. This allows me to focus on the growing the business.

Play to your strengths at work (and on the tennis court if you want) and you will find success more often.