This blog will hopefully inspire you, warm your heart, make you smile and feel positive.

Failure Before Success



Most mistakes are unavoidable. Learn to forgive yourself. It’s not a problem to make them. It’s only a problem if you never learn from them.

If you’re too afraid of failure, you can’t possibly do what needs to be done to be successful. The trick is to make friends with failure. The difference between a master and a beginner is that the master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried. Behind every great piece of art is a thousand failed attempts to make it, but these attempts are simply never shown to us.

The bottom line is: Just because it’s not happening now, doesn’t mean it will never happen. Sometimes things have to go very wrong before they can be right. Success never comes to look for you while you wait around worrying about failure.

Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom.

Appreciate What You Have


A long time ago, there was a huge apple tree. A little kid loved to come and play around it every day. He climbed to the treetop, ate the apples, and took a nap under the shadow. He loved the tree and the tree loved to play with him.

Time went by, the little kid had grown up. One day, the boy came back to the tree and he looked sad.

“Come and play with me,” the tree asked the boy.

Boy: “I am no longer a kid, I do not play around trees anymore. I want toys. I need money to buy them.”

Tree: “Sorry, I do not have any money. But you can pick my apples, then sell them to get the money.”

The boy was excited. He grabbed all the apples on the tree and left happily. The boy never came back. The tree was sad.

One day, the boy who now turned into a man returned and the tree was excited.

“Come and play with me,” the tree asked the man.

Man: “I do not have time to play. I have to work for my family. We need a house for shelter.”

Tree: “Sorry, I do not have any house. But you can chop off my branches to build your house.”

So the man cut all the branches of the tree and left happily.

The man never came back since then. The tree was again lonely and sad.

One hot summer day, the man who now at his middle age returned and the tree was delighted.

“Come and play with me!” the tree asked.

Man: “I am getting old. I want to go sailing to relax myself. I want a boat.”

Tree: “Sorry, I do not have any boat. But you can use my trunk to build your boat. You can sail far away and be happy.”

So the man cut the tree trunk to make a boat. He went sailing and never showed up for a long time.

Finally, the man returned after many years.

“Sorry, I do not have anything for you anymore. The only thing left is my dying roots,” the tree said.

“I do not need anything now, just a place to rest. I am tired after all these years,” the man replied.

“Good! Old tree roots are the best place to lean on and rest, come sit down with me and rest.” The man sat down and the tree was glad. Then they both smiled with tears.

We take our family, friends and loved ones for granted, we don’t appreciate all they do for us … until it’s too late. Treat them with loving care today.

Learn to appreciate what you have. Before time makes you appreciate what you’d lost.

Being Busy is not a Virtue


Being busy is not something to respect.

Though we all have seasons of crazy schedules, very few of us have a legitimate need to be busy all the time. We simply don’t know how to live within our means, prioritize properly, and say no when we should.

Being busy rarely equates to productivity. Just take a quick look around. Busy people outnumber productive people by a wide margin. Busy people are rushing all over the place, and running late half of the time. They’re heading to work, conferences, meetings, social engagements …

They barely have enough free time for family get-togethers and they rarely get enough sleep. Yet, emails are shooting out of their computers and smart phones like bullets, and their day planners are jammed to the brim with obligations. Their busy schedule gives them an elevated sense of importance.

But it’s all an illusion. They’re like hamsters running on a wheel. Though being busy can make us feel more alive than anything else for a moment, the sensation is not sustainable long term.

We will inevitably, whether tomorrow or on our deathbed, come to wish that we spent less time in the buzz of busyness and more time actually living a purposeful life.

One of Those Days


Warning: foul language alert.

“Dame. Dame. Dame. Sh*t.” She scolded and blew out the smoke, her hand holding the cigarette was shaking.

This was the first time I’ve been in this alley, the closest smoking area from our office building.

“Don’t panic,” I tried to comfort her, sipping my Latte and pretending to be cool.

“How can this happen? We’re in deep sh*t. Fu*k!” She cursed again.

Yeah, I know. But girl, calm down and mind you language.

Our conservation attracted the attention of other smokers. I looked around, women were more than guys.

It’s all started an hour ago when we received that email. Our product needs the certification from the regulator before it can be deployed. As the process was time consuming and we were confident that the certification would be granted, our management made the decision to deploy the product in advance.

However, we received the email from the regulator this morning that some of their tests were failed. This mean we failed the certification, and worse, our product had been deployed. She was the team lead of testing and I was the lead of development. So this issue was directed to us – and this could be a massive problem.

To come up with the solution, you need to think you are the best problem solver, better than anyone.

So I laid out our game plan.

“First, we need to let management know, they need to prepare and handle the situation. They are good at talking and we are good at fixing issues.”

“Second, check the test results and analyze why our tests are passed and theirs are failed. May be all the drama is caused by a minor careless mistake.”

“And if you need anything from development, we are here to help and I’ll ensure this has the highest priority today.”

She nodded and seemed relieved, sucked on her cigarette one last time, looked at me and said, “Thank you.”

If you are not a smoker and still single, we can develop a deeper relationship. People really know each other better when going through difficult times.

No one teaches us how to deal with setbacks in life. At the end, it all depends on our life experience and advices from people around us. It takes courage to hang on when things are not going to plan. But no matter what happened, don’t be tempted to quit. Instead, dust yourself off and get back on track.

I looked at my watch, 10:30am. We took a deep breath, walked back to the office and let the challenge unfold.

At every crisis in one’s life, it is absolute salvation to have some sympathetic friend to whom you can think aloud without restraint or misgiving.
– Woodrow Wilson

Grandma’s Hands


Grandma sat feebly on the patio bench. She didn’t move, just sat with her head down staring at her hands. Her grandson came and sat besides her, asked, “Grandma, you are just sitting here staring at your hands, are you OK?”

“Have you ever looked at your hands?” she asked.

He slowly opened his hands and stared down at them.

Grandma smiled and related this story:

“Stop and think for a moment about the hands you have, how they have served you well throughout your years. These hands, though wrinkled, shrivelled and weak, they have been the tools I have used all my life to reach out, grab and embrace life.

They braced and caught my fall when as a toddler I crashed upon the floor. They put food in my mouth and clothes on my back. As a child, my mother taught me to fold them in prayer. They tied my shoes and pulled on my boots. They held my husband and wiped my tears when he went off to war.

They have been dirty, scraped and raw, swollen and bent. They were uneasy and clumsy when I tried to hold my newborn son. Decorated with my wedding band they showed the world that I was married and loved someone special.

They wrote my letters to him and trembled and shook when I buried my parents and spouse. They have held my children and grandchildren, consoled neighbours, and shook in fists of anger when I didn’t understand.

They have covered my face, combed my hair, and washed and cleansed the rest of my body. They have been sticky and wet, bent and broken, dried and raw. And to this day when not much of anything else of me works real well these hands hold me up, lay me down, and again continue to fold in prayer.

These hands are the mark of where I’ve been and the ruggedness of life.”

So did you really look at your hands?

The final forming of a person’s character lies in their own hands.
- Anne Frank

The Doctor


A doctor entered the hospital in hurry after being called in for an urgent surgery. He answered the call immediately, changed his clothes and went directly to the surgery block. He found the boy’s father pacing in the hall waiting for the doctor.

On seeing him, the dad yelled: “Why did you take this long to come? Don’t you know that my son’s life is in danger? Don’t you have any sense of responsibility?”

The doctor smiled and said: “I am sorry, I wasn’t in the hospital and I came as fast as I could after receiving the call. And now, I wish you’d calm down so that I can do my work.”

“Calm down?! What if your son is in the surgery room right now, would you calm down? If your own son dies now what will you do?” said the father angrily.

The doctor replied patiently: “We will do our best.” And he walked into the surgery room.

“Giving advises when we’re not concerned is so easy …”, murmured the father.

The surgery took 2 hours after which the doctor came out happily, “Good news! Your son is saved!” And without waiting for the father’s reply, he kept walking at a fast pace. “If you have any questions, ask the nurse.”

“Why is he so arrogant? He couldn’t wait some minutes so that I ask about my son’s status,” the father commented when seeing the nurse minutes after the doctor left.

The nurse answered with tears: “His son died yesterday in a road accident, he was at the burial when we called him for your son’s surgery. And now he saved your son’s life, he left running to finish his son’s burial.”

Life Short, Live Today


My aunt passed away last week. Last time I saw her was 2 years ago when I was back to Hong Kong. She was still healthy and we had dinner together. If I know that was our final meal, I will give her a hug at the end. Sometimes I wonder after we were gone, did we leave a trail in this world or it’s just like flipping a switch to turn everything off?

When I was gone – there won’t be any new posts to this blog, no more updates on my Facebook, my Gmail will be stuffed with emails, my Evernote and OneNote will become ghost accounts in the cypher world. Colleagues who don’t know I was gone will still endorse me in LinkedIn, of course I won’t endorse them back. But one day if I stop posting to this blog, don’t think I’m probably dead – there is a good chance that I may just give up blogging.

We know deep down that life is short, and death will happen to all of us eventually, and yet we are still surprised when it happens to someone we know. It’s like walking up a flight of stairs with a distracted mind, and misjudging the final step. You expected there to be one more stair than there is, and so you find yourself off balance for a moment, before your mind shifts back to the present moment and how the world really is.

Live your life today! Don’t ignore death, but don’t be afraid of it either. Be afraid of a life you never lived because you were too afraid to take action. Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside you while you’re still alive. Be bold. Be courageous. Be scared to death. And then take the next step in life anyway.


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