Anchoring Your Past

by Patrick Liew on August 27, 2011

I love the sea.

Some of the best days in my life were spent close to the sea. I love the sun, surf, sand and everything related to the sea.

My love for the sea started when my friends and I camped at Changi beach during school holidays. We had so much fun, laughter and excitement.

They gave me fond memories that still bring joy to my heart until today.

Nobody taught us camping and we knew very little about it.

I remember the first time we pitched a tent. Actually, it was more like hanging a ground sheet over a loose raffia string and trying to peg the four corners to the soft sandy beach.

It was badly done. We had wind blowing constantly through the tent, bringing dirt, sand and even morning dew with it.

When it rained, we had to huddle together and sit (and oftentimes, shiver) on puddles of water. In my mind, I can still hear the laughter as we went through the experience.

It was just as hilarious when we cooked our first meal. We collected all kinds of branches, twigs and even leaves, and tried to start a fire with them.

As these were not good firewood and were not properly dried.

We generated a lot of dark smoke.

Finally, we ended with sooty and smoky-looking faces that you could almost write on with a stick.

We were such a funny sight.

The pot we used had a very small leak. We did not realize it and so we kept pouring water to try and cook the rice.

After four hours, (when some of our fellow campers who started cooking with us were fast asleep), we had burnt rice at the bottom of the pot and uncooked rice at the top.

We just ate without a thought for our stomach because we were so hungry. We had so much fun in the process.

We came out with all kinds of activities to play in the sea and on the beach. We would sing, trade ‘ghost’ stories, tell jokes, and talked about life (and, yes, about girls too).

There were so many interesting events that happened. There was one night when one of my friends brushed his teeth in darkness.

Without realizing it, he was using a toothbrush that had been used to remove mud from our shoes. We teased him so hard he almost had to bury his head in the sand.

Another time, we helped to free a car for a pair of love birds. Their car was stuck in a sand pit on a dark and lonely stretch of the beach.

What we did not realize was that the pit was dugged by a group of local gangsters as a part of their ‘business’. They would cause the car to be stuck and offer to free the car for a fee.

After we had freed the car and the driver had driven off, we heard a loud “Mai Chow!” (“Don’t Run” in Hokkien).

I turned around and saw many gangsters running toward us.

My friends and I ran in the opposite direction. I ran like I have never ever run before.

I knew if they caught up with me, I might become manure for the coconut trees on the beach.

While camping in the late evening and when nobody was around, we went skinny dipping (swimming in the nude) under the moon.

That was also the time when some of us were hit by puberty. Our body began to change and we made many surprising discoveries. (As this Love Note is rated ‘PG’, I will stop here).

Sometimes, we would hitch a ride to town and walk until our feet could not carry us anymore. We would return to our ‘waterfront castle’ to sleep. There were times, we could sleep for almost a day.

There were so many things to do to occupy our time. We would go on a stretch of a week without bathing.

Those were such happy days that even when I write about it, I can still feel happiness coasting through me.

I had a great time because I choose to have a great time and I wanted to have a great time. What happened to me were simple incidents but I found happiness and joy in them.

I anchored these experiences in my mind and in my being.

They helped stabilize my personality and made me emotionally strong. They also prepared me to handle the challenges of life.

Our Creator has placed resources for happiness inside of me. I can always recall memories of happy times to brighten my day.

Please share with me the great times of your life. In this way, we can bring out positive emotions and change our state to strengthen our lives.


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

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

Please go to ‘Notes’ found below my profile picture.

Visit my Inspiration blog at

Visit my Transformation blog at

Please read them and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!


Question: How can we use past experiences to empower us for success?


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