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Blueprint for Today

When you savour each day as if it is one of your last few, life will be refreshing. Insurmountable tasks you may encounter. Do not be dismayed. Break down them into manageable bite sizes. Worry will not solve the problem. It only depletes your energy instead.

The rewards you reap is directly proportional to the efforts you sow. Therefore, invest in each hour judiciously. There’s no perfect day. Accept the vicissitudes of life. Like the tides of the sea, there’re always ups and downs.

Live your passion. Do things that make you authentically joyful and not what others advise you to. After all, this is your life, not theirs. You are born into this world with a purpose and you have to discover that purpose.

Success is a long and lonely sojourn that never ends. Enjoy the journey as you continue your quest. Don’t forget that success is not measured by money alone. Accept failures courageously for it is part of growing up. Failures are useful lessons not taught in schools. They are stepping stones, not stumbling blocks, to success.

Trust your instincts. Believe in your dreams. They are free and will not tie you down. Don’t let others hijack and murder your dreams. Keep an open mind and view things from different perspectives. Discard the box and think creatively.

Learn new things each passing day. Acquire the humility of wisdom, not the pride of knowledge. Keep your mind curious and your life active. Daily events are best lessons for us to ponder over. Towards the end of the night, invest some time to reflect your day’s result.

Take risks cautiously. Force yourself out of your comfort zone for that’s where success lies. Try new things.  You may find success in them. Don’t believe in luck. The harder you work, the luckier you become. Disregard what your stars predict for you. Create and walk on your own trail even though few have trodden on it.

Be flexible to changes. It is the key to success. Listen to your heart for you are accustomed to logic for too long. Listen to others. It’s a long-forsaken skill. If you speak without listening, you are tongue deaf.

Leave your ego at the door and work towards collaboration. Every individual has their strengths and weaknesses. Capitalize on their strengths and identify the goodness in people. If you win all the time, people will avoid you in future. You have to live with imperfections. People err. Learn to forgive them. Harbor no evil thoughts.  If you carry heavy emotional luggage, your journey will be longer and drearier.

Radiate positive energies to those around you. Help someone today. If you illuminate their lives, the light will bounce back on you. Don’t let small things irritate you and spoil your day as there are more important issues to focus. Be slow to anger for it drives you nearer and faster to your grave.

Reward yourself with small gifts periodically. Be collected, be contented and be joyful. Celebrate Life!

- Michael Lum, 2014

God, Why Did I Fail?

My world came crashing down.
I lost millions at the stock exchange.
Creditors kept pounding on my doors.

My business folded. I was declared insolvent.
Suddenly, friends became strangers.
Depression was the order of the day.
I hit the bottle.

I wandered aimlessly through the streets and came to a deserted park.

Searching for answers from the skies above, I knelt over a rock and prayed to God.

Dear God, Why did I fail?

A voice thundered through the clouds.

My child, you need to fail first so that you can learn to pick yourself up.

Why me, of all people?

The voice from heaven continued.

If you recall, when you succeeded, you didn’t ask “Why me?”

I asked, Why does society judge me only on my failure?

In a gentler tone, the voice replied,

I do not judge those who try and fail but those who fail to try.

I feel like giving up everything.....

There’s failure, only success delayed.

Dear God, Is failing necessary?

The voice counseled me.

When you grant yourself permission to fail, you grant yourself permission to succeed.

What can I learn from failure?

The only failure is not learning from your failure.
Failure is your tuition fee for life’s lesson.

I have failed. I am doomed for life.....

Those who try and fail have more honor than those who do nothing and succeed.

God, You mean I can benefit from failure?

The voice reassured me.

Failure forces you to leave the shores of comfort and venture beyond the horizon to explore the ocean of opportunities

My dear God, What’s the difference between success and failure then?

Success builds character, failure reveals it.
Success is never final, failure is never fatal.

So you mean to say that success is not necessarily a good thing?

The problem with success is that it does not teach you how to deal with failure.
Success forces you to accept the known and resist the unknown.

God, so how do I handle my failure?

Don’t brand yourself as a failure.
Every success was once a failure.
Failure creates another opportunity to begin more intelligently.

How can I ensure success?

Success comes from good judgment.
Good judgment comes from experience.
And experience comes from failures.

Hmm, can I succeed without failing?

Failure is a prelude to success.
You encounter failure on the way to success.

Is there any way of avoiding failure?

A person who has never failed has never pushed himself hard enough.

Dear God, one last question.
What is the best strategy to move forward?

The voice whispered,

Ask yourself daily:
What would you do if you knew you wouldn’t fail?

Thank you God, where ever you are.

“For God so loved failures that He made so many, many of them.”

- Michael Lum, 2007

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