My Doodling:

I’m taking an indefinite break from blogging. Somehow the ‘creative juices’ and much needed ‘umph’ have not been as free-flowing as usual. It must be me being too mentally occupied with my wedding preparations. In the meantime, you may have your fix at my (or our) wedding website… heh heh…

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My Read of the Month:

Title: Put Your Dream to the Test: 10 Questions that Will Help You See It and Seize It
: John C. Maxwell
Published: 2009
Genre: Leadership/Personal development
Ratings: 5.0 out of 5 stars

Believe it or not, this is my first Maxwell’s book that I’ve read. And through reading this useful book, I found a role model in Maxwell.

I like that I had started this book at the beginning of 2010 as it had helped in clarifying my vision which in turn helped as I penned my goals for this year.

Maxwell does an exceptional job in no only shares principles and tips towards achieving our dreams, but he also shares his life experiences. That is invaluable.

What makes this book a must-read is that it inspires readers to evaluate their lives and to re-discover that dream that might be tucked away in some corner. The 10 steps or questions really do help as I was able to redefine my personal dream/vision.

I particularly enjoyed the anecdotes, quotes and life lessons which he drew and dissected from the success stories of famous people both living and dead. This book is close to flawless and truly an enjoyable read!

In closing, I leave you with this quote from the author: “It is your responsibility to become everything that you are, not only for your benefit but also for everyone else’s”.

Who should read it: For those who are in pursuit or in discovery of their vision/dream in life.

Re-Defining My Vision

I wonder is there anyone else who shares a similar passion and vision like mine? If you are one of them, we should talk.

Let’s seize the opportunities that are present in our generation in making a difference for Christ! Amen?

Arnold’s Living His Dream

I never did know the famous Arnold Schwarzenegger beyond his huge on-screen persona. Hence, reading his rags-to-riches story was very refreshing and inspiring. I have reproduced an extract of his compelling story here as a fine example of a life striving forward in accomplishing one’s dream.

Arnold wasn’t sure of what he wanted to do, but he knew it wasn’t following his father’s footsteps in law enforcement. It wasn’t for a lack of trying to find his dream. he had ambition. In fact, one thing he did know was that he wanted to be the best in the world at whatever he chose.

He loved athletics, but in his mid-teens, he still hadn’t found the right sport. He tried many; ice curling, boxing, running and field events such as javelin and shot put.

For five years, he played soccer but no strong passion for it. Then one day his soccer coach asked the team to start lifting weights once a week to improve their conditioning. It was then his dream began to take shape.

“I still remember that first visit to the body building gym,” he recalls, “I had never seen anyone lifting weights before. Those guys were powerful looking. And there it was before me- my life, the answer I’d been seeking. It clicked. It was something I suddenly just seemed to reach out and find, as if I’d been crossing a suspended bridge and finally stepped off onto solid ground.”

At age fourteen, Arnold Schwarzenegger had found his passion in gymnasium. But not everyone understood his dream- certainly not his parents or friends he grew up with.

“I could not have chosen a less popular sport,” Arnold explains, “My school friends thought I was crazy. But I didn’t care. I found the things to which I wanted to devote my total energies and there was no stopping. My drive was unusual; I talked differently than my friends; I was hungrier for success than anyone I knew.”

In his relentless pursuit of his dream, Arnold began working working out for hours at a time, six days a week. His dream was to become the best built man in the world.

At the age of eighteen while he served his mandatory year in Austria army, he won the Junior Mr. Europe, his first major competition. The next year he won Mr. Europe. He moved to Munich and kept working and obtained part of ownership in a gym there.

Later in 1967, he won the Mr. Universe amateur contest in London. He was only twenty years old, and his victory astounded everyone. When he called his parents to tell them of his success, they were less than excited.

Despite the lack of support for his career choice, Arnold went on to win every major body building competition in the world, including the prestigious Mr. Olympia contest an incredible seven times, the last in 1980.

But becoming the world’s greatest body builder- an amazing accomplishment in itself- was not Arnold’s only dream. Many people were shocked when he was able to turn his body building prowess into a successful movie career. Years later, they were flabbergasted when he ran for governor of California- and won.

What many people didn’t know that Arnold had dreamed of such things since his early days in Austria. At age twenty, he told his friend, “I want to win the Mr. Universe many times like Reg [Park, his idol]. I want to become a billionaire. And I want to go into politics.”

Arnold has lived his dreams. He became Mr. Universe and Mr. Olympia many times. He’s made many movies, with his films earning more than $1.6 billion! He’s been a highly successful businessperson. Since the early days in the United States, he’s been disciplined saver and a wise investor in real estate, stocks and businesses. (He’s not quite a billionaire yet; it’s estimated that his net worth is only $800 million.) He is a political leader.

Arnold Schwarzenegger has owned his dream, and as a result, he has been highly successful.

Striving ahead with Christ in 2010

“I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me.

No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,

I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.”

Philippians 3;12-14 (New Living Translation)

Making 2010 your Best Year yet

I’m sure most of us must have carried some unfinished goals or brought with us inspiring moments from last year into 2010.

Whatever the case, last year is over and 2010 has kicked in.

With another God-given year before us, it is time to start making this year the best year yet.

Below is an approach you can adopt in making 2010 a better year if not your best. This is based on the word ten from 2010.

Hope you will find it helpful and memorable:

1. Thinking the right thoughts

The answer to changing your life is to change your thoughts. We become what we think.

Egypt’s ex-president, Anwar Sadat once said, “He who cannot change the very fabric of his thought will never be able to change reality, and will never, therefore, make any progress.”

We need to realise that we are masters of our thoughts which have a great affect on shaping our lives. Hence, one useful tip is to watch your thought diet; choose what you read.

2. Enriching yourself

One must never stop learning and life-long learning helps us to move forward. And since we’re living in the Information age, a lot of our success in life depends on how much we know.

Start enriching yourself by upgrading and acquiring knowledge or skills that could well position you for upward mobility. This could be in terms of your career, spiritual life or even relationships.

For me, I had resolved to read one book a month in which I have been doing so for two consecutive years. This year, I hope to do a part-time theological studies in a bible seminary.

3. Not looking back, but looking forward

With high hopes and new goals setted for this year, it is also inevitable that difficulties or challenges will arise with them.

Though it is always an easier option to choose to lament, blame others or to compare what it might had been, but choose against passivity and be brave to confront and persevere onwards.

Many of a times, opportunities are hidden in the midst of challenges. Remember, there can be no rainbow without a cloud or a storm.

Embrace your life and live it to the full!

My 2009 in a Glance

1. My unforgettable answered prayer

Receiving an unexpected job offer from my current employer in July. The timing and way that the job presented itself had God’s finger prints all over.

2. My greatest trial

It was during the period before I joined my present employer. I can only say that politicking does not enhance productivity and definitely deters progress for any organisation.

3. My greatest breakthrough

My career. A divine promotion and increment in a recession. But more than these, it was definitely crucial step towards where His plans for me.

4. My most impactful decision made

Proposing to my girlfriend and setting myself up for the next journey of a lifetime!

5. My happiest and elating moment

I think I’ll have to say that this was when my girlfriend said YES after I proposed. No? Ha ha

6. My lessons learnt about God

God and His kingdom is not confined within the four walls of the church. His love and power is not restricted by rules, systems or traditions. Similarly, our spiritual growth should not be dependent or measured by following rules, systems or traditions. God is Spirit and we worship Him in spirit and in truth.

How I ended my 2009

Now with one foot forward or five days into 2010, I’m thankful for how 2009 has ended for me.

In particularly, I like how I was able to complete my first 21km Standard Chartered Run and go for a mission trip to Jakarta.

Both took place in the month of December.

The breakthru’ run

The half-marathon run was a huge test for me and I was pitting against myself; pushing my limits and facing my fears.

And words could not describe adequately how I felt after I had crossed the finishing line.

If I could use one sentence, I would say: I feel like a winner!

The breakthru’ trip

For my mission trip, this was my first representing City Harvest Church (CHC) and also a first going with my fiancee.

This trip was part of a series of mission trip to support an affiliated church- GPdI Lippo Cikarang Church in its first-ever Emerge Youth Camp.

In this camp, I was given the tasks of planning and conducting life-skills workshops for inter-personal skills and public speaking.

However, what was significant for me was to be given an opportunity to share my testimony to the youths during one of the bible-teaching sessions.

Besides giving God the rightful recognition, I sincerely hoped that it would have encouraged them to know the depth of God’s love and His life-transforming power.

My Doodling:

Great start for my 2010 with 1-week of in-camp training for my reservist! Ha ha…. It’s okay cos if I’ve calculated correctly, this should be my last before I “retire” from national service for good! *crossing my fingers* =p