Plotting Your Life Map

by Patrick Liew on July 25, 2015

On Friday, 17 July 2015, Dr Mark Robison led a group of us on an interesting exercise of plotting our life map.

It was an enlightening experience for me to trace the past and join the dots to potentially chart my future. It was equally enriching to listen to my friends’ real life stories.

I entitled my life map, Finding “Patrick Liew.”

The title was not meant to be negative. It was an expression of the never-ending discovery for the best “Patrick Liew,” and search to serve a worthier cause and a higher calling.

To portray the life map, I used a topographical representation. It covered a virgin territory with a variety of terrain, vegetation, and landscape.

The features in the topographical map were metaphors to describe my journey in life. The territory on the map was uncharted and unfamiliar.

What’s more, the landscape and surrounding would change and sometimes they would change on a day to day basis.

The topographical map reminded me of the challenging but highly fulfilling time I spent as a soldier, training on some of the highest mountains in Taiwan. It also reminded me of the exciting and happy times I spent with my family, trekking in the jungles of Malaysia and Thailand.

Looking back, I felt like our Creator has constantly been carrying out what the military would call a “Search and Rescue Mission” for me. A mission to save and protect me from danger and even death.

In doing so, He gave me the possibilities to find meaning, purpose, and significance at every turning point of my life.

As we were only given a short period of time, I chose to present six key phases of my life and the lessons that I’ve learned from them.

Phase 1: Thriving In Challenges

I was thankful for the blessing of growing up in a poor family. Despite going through poverty, I’ve never felt like I was in need.

I have never felt like I needed anything else to be happy.

Living simply is indeed a major key to happiness.

Our Creator has placed within us the resources that we need to live a meaningful and fulfilling life.

The greatest poverty is not a poverty of money but a poverty of dream, passion, and massive action.

Phase 2: Confronting And Capitalizing On Dark Shadows

Throughout my formal education, I did not realize I was given a gift and it was termed as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD or ADD).

In short, I could be going through a lesson in a classroom. My body would be there but my brain would be in a world of its own.

Looking back, I considered ADHD as a gift and not as a disorder.

Over time, I learned to cope with ADHD. In fact, I realized that I could turn the weaknesses of ADHD into strengths.

I could capitalize on these strengths to go farther and faster in life.

It may sound strange to people who understand or think they understand ADHD that this ADHD-blessed person is now being used to teach others on how to keep still and be mindful. How to channel their energy to ensure that the main action is the main action and to focus on executing it.

Through confronting and capitalizing on ADHD, I managed to complete 10 degree and degree-equivalent qualifications. And I’m more motivated than ever to continue my lifelong learning journey.

Challenges is a constant in life. If you are not facing them, check your heartbeat.

Ultimately, we have a choice to deal with any challenge as an opportunity and not as a problem. We can emerge from it as a victor and not as a victim.

With every challenge, our Creator has given us a mind-that-is-never-set, a mind that could find the tools and other resources to cope with the challenge.

Challenges do not have to be a millstone around our neck. They could be a stepping stone to achieve success.

Phase 3: Fighting The Enemies Within

I’m grateful and thankful for the opportunity to serve the nation by fulfilling my national service as an infantry soldier.  My years in green have been some of the highlights in my life.

Most men were not too excited about serving their national service. They would do everything possible to take on an easier job and have a lighter load of work.

Prior to going to the army, I decided that anything worth doing is worth doing with passion and excellence.

As a result, I had a ball in the army and had wonderful memories of my time in it. The army taught me many lessons that I would never be able to learn anywhere else and it has made me a better person.

My reservist mates and I are still having regular gatherings every year for the past 34 years. Our camaraderie remains strong and we still enjoy reminiscing about the good old days.

If you have to do anything, love what you do and do it to the best of your abilities. Your working life will then become a lifelong vacation.

Phase 4: Pressing On To Press On To The Top

Before I started working, I applied and wanted to be a social worker. Deep in my heart, I wanted to help people who, like me, had to go through disadvantages and challenges in life.

The manager who interviewed me and gave me the job told me that he would guide me and show me the rope. Just before I started on the job, that manager resigned and left me feeling lost.

My friends told me that I should go out to the real world and go through real life experiences. If I didn’t do it, I would not be in a good position to help others with their challenges.

I took their advice and went to work in the private sector. Throughout the journey in the working world, I was mindful about doing a good job and learning from every experience so that I can use the lessons to help others.

I’m passionate and proud of my time in the working world. Until today, I’ve not lost the romance of working and the romance of making the most out of work.

It’s sad that other than sleeping, we will spend most part of our adult life at work. Yet, according to a survey conducted by Gallup International, many people were not only unhappy, they were disengaged in their workplace.

When you go to work, be an ambassador for our Creator. Go to work with an employer rather than an employee mindset.

In other words, ask yourself, if you are the owner of the organization, how can you improve the organization and help it to achieve better results?

How can you help your bosses and colleagues to improve teamwork and the working environment?

If you have the right attitude, life in the workplace will be a huge and long party.

I’m grateful that I had a good run in the working world and was regularly promoted with major jumps in my salary. I’m thankful that I finished my career as the CEO of the region for a multinational company.

I realized that there’s more to a job than carrying out the role and responsibilities of the job and collecting a regular salary for doing it. We are designed to do good work and through it, find meaning, well-being, and fulfillment.

Phase 5: Becoming An Entrepreneur And An Investor

Becoming an entrepreneur and investing in businesses and other instruments of investment is the best thing I can do for my life.

Through the entrepreneurial journey, I have helped to list three different companies in three different stock exchanges and in three different countries.

Let me clarify that entrepreneurship is not just about starting a business or owning a company.

Entrepreneurship is about capitalising on the best opportunities with the least possible resources. It is about developing win-win relationships and results that have a wider impact on the community,

The entrepreneurial mindset can be used by governments, employers, employees, independent contractors and even social workers.

Entrepreneurship is one of the greatest equalisers in life. It is one of the best paths for ordinary persons to achieve true freedom.

True freedom is not about having everything that you want but having whatever you need so as to achieve a worthwhile dream.

I have always said entrepreneurship is about doing the things that most people will not do so that you will not have to do the things that most people will have to do to stay alive and live well in the future.

Entrepreneurship is one of the most powerful solutions to eradicate poverty and many other challenges in life.

It’s never too late to learn how to be entrepreneurial. Start now.

After completing my life map and reflecting on it, I felt like my life has gone one full circle. I started off in my working life wanting to be a social worker.

By being an entrepreneur, I realized I can do what a social worker can do in helping others live a better life. I can do much more with my life to give back to society.

For me, being an entrepreneur is a great way to live a meaningful, exciting and fulfilling life.

Phase 6: Living a Dream Life

When I was young, I used to sing a verse from a song. The words were, “I don’t know about the future but I know Who holds my hands.”

As I joined the dots in my past life, I’m grateful and thankful for the way our Creator has guided me throughout all these years.

I might not have been perfect and have on occasions strayed away from the map that He has designed for me. However, He was always there to navigate me back to the right path.

With His help, I believe that the greatest years are ahead of me.

I strongly recommend that you reflect on your life. Craft a life map to depict the major phases of your life journey.

Consider the learning lessons and how you can leverage on them to design the brightest life ahead of you.

Go4It!

I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

Please ‘Like’ me on https://m.facebook.com/patrickliewsg

Visit my Inspiration blog at http://liewinspiration.wordpress.com/

For my opinions on social affairs, please visit my Transformation blog at http://hsrpatrickliew.wordpress.com/

Please visit my website, http://www.patrickliew.net

Please read my reflections and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!

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On 1 July 2011, my wife and I exchanged most of our shares in a public-listed real estate company for an 8-figure worth of money. 

I walked out of the industry (退出江湖) a totally free man. Free to do whatever I want and have whatever time and resources needed to do it. 

Many of my friends patted me on my back. They sent me many compliments and accolades. 

They congratulated me and looked up to me as a model of their dream. A dream of every entrepreneur to take a company public, hand it over to a capable and resourceful leader, and step away to pursue the best of life.

Even my competitors who obviously hated me like poison in the past said words such as, “All the barbs we threw at you were just business. Nothing personal. 

“You’re a good guy and you deserve to retire from the industry at the top and to enjoy a wonderful life ahead. Well done!”

Subsequently, I went on to accomplish many other dreams and tick off many items from my bucket list. 

They included completing my doctoral studies. Raising funds to help start at least 5 charity centers and support many other humanitarian and philanthropic initiatives. 

Traveling around the world. Dining in the finest restaurants. Having fun in the best playgrounds. 

Mentoring many successful investors and entrepreneurs. Investing in a few promising businesses. Helping to list another company. 

Giving lectures to thousands all over the world. Crafting many of my thoughts, experience, and learning lessons on paper. 

Spending a few hours every week helping up in the church,…and closing many other files. 

I had a wonderful time. So, why am I so “crazy!!!” to return to the real estate industry?

Truth be told, while I was enjoying my life, there was also a void in my heart. There was something else I needed to do. 

I did not feel that I was blessed so that I can just have a good life. 

Deep in my heart, a dream was beginning to take shape. A higher calling was stirring in my being.
I did not fully understand this dream and calling until awhile later. 

Our founding father, the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew was once quoted to have said, “…all the people who retire and lead sedentary lives, the pensioners die off very quickly.”

On another occasion, he said, “The human being needs a challenge, and my advice to every person in Singapore and elsewhere: Keep yourself interested, have a challenge.”

After talking to my advisors, I affirmed again that I have one keen interest – real estate. 

Every molecule in my body shouts a real estate message. If you cut my veins, don’t be surprised that property opportunities will flow out. 

Truth be told, I left the real estate industry but the industry never left me. I left the company but the company never left my heart. 

To cut a long story short, I became a real estate salesperson again, albeit a part-time one. 

Yes, I believe every CEO and senior executive should go back to basics again and again. He or she should assume even the most simple role every now and then to have a better grasp of the ground. 

As I went back to the practice, I began to fine tune the business model that I created many years ago, a model that helped me to be the CEO as well as the best-performing salesperson in the company. 

However, I didn’t compete with my salespersons to win awards, recognitions, and be listed on the hall of fame. 

After about a year and working for an equivalent of about 30 full days and helping buyers and sellers transact properties, I generated more than 7-figure worth of gross commissions. 

As I continued my practice, I was at the same time working on my doctoral dissertation, the first of its kind in the world. My focus was on financial literacy or how to earn, save, spend, invest, grow, protect, and give away wealth.

A powerful model began to form. A model that was validated by solid research and evidence and proven to be effective and efficient in the real world. 

I eventually developed a revolutionary model that would change the landscape of the real estate industry. 

Eureka!

I told my manager to look for a large office, hire experienced staff, and recruit real estate salespersons to implement the model. 

Then the call came, would you like to run your previous real estate company again? 

That company has a large office, experienced staff, and real estate salespersons. 

The rest as they said was history or history could very well be made. 

Why did I return to the real estate industry and return passionately, confidently, and optimistically?

To put it simply, I want to change the real estate world for the better. 

Everything that we have done so far in the real estate business have been wrong. 

Absolutely wrong!

To prove my point, ask any real estate salesperson the following questions:

1. If you do well this year, what assurance do you have that you’ll do well next year?

2. If your customers buy and sell a property through you this month, what assurance do you have that they will transact the next property through you? 

3. Will you even remember to call your customer after the deal is completed?

4, Can you be be sure that your income will continue to grow year after year? 

If you execute our new business model effectively and efficiently, you can confidently answer “Yes!” to the above questions. 

On top of that, you’ll enjoy the following benefits:

1. Customers for Life

Your customers will be happy with your service. They’ll be your customers for life.
2. Large, Profitable, and Growing Base of Customers 

Customer satisfaction will improve by quantum leaps. As a result, you’ll enjoy what we call the 8Rs. 

Your customers will not only give you Repeated businesses they’ll be happy to offer positive References about you. 

They’ll introduce Referrals to you who will in turn introduce more referrals to you. You’ll earn positive Recognition in the marketplace, build a strong Reputation, and enjoy great Respect. 

These benefits will increase your Returns On Investment in running your business and in serving your customers. 

Together, we will start a Revolution to change the real estate profession and industry for the better. 

3. Professional, Profitable, and Purposeful Business

Your business will continue to improve. You’ll earn top income in the industry and the income will increase year after year. 

More importantly, you’ll join the ranks of professionals because of your value-addition to the customers and their families, the community, the economy, and society. 

You’ll have a stronger pride for your work and career. It will then propel you learn more and become an even wiser, more productive, and more altruistic professional. 

4. Highly Respectable Industry

As more real estate salespersons adopt our revolutionary business model, the real estate industry will become a highly professional and respected industry. 

More professionals will be inclined to join our industry. Together, we can make our world a better home. 

Can you understand why I’m so excited to run back into the deep, murky, and dangerous end of the industry?

Why I’m so excited about training a small group of real estate salespersons? 

Why I’m passionate to mentor, coach, guide, demonstrate to, and work with you on how to achieve lifelong success? 

Why I believe, when you achieve success, you’ll also be passionate to help the others in the industry?

Call me an idealist if you will but I know when I help one person at a time, one success at a time, one millionaire at a time… I will soon change the real estate industry.  Forever.

That’s why, I AM BACK (我从出江湖)!

Go4It!

I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

Please ‘Like’ me on https://m.facebook.com/patrickliewsg

Visit my Inspiration blog at http://liewinspiration.wordpress.com/

For my opinions on social affairs, please visit my Transformation blog at http://hsrpatrickliew.wordpress.com/

Please visit my website, http://www.patrickliew.net

Please read my reflection and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!

{ Comments on this entry are closed }

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