Back To Class

by Patrick Liew on April 22, 2013

As a result of my commitment to be a lifelong student, I have been attending part-time courses since graduation. They have helped me to improve personally and professionally.

I will continue my learning journey because I know I’m not smart and there is so much more to learn out there. Besides, it gives me a great sense of enjoyment and fulfillment.

On the morning of 16 July 2013, I went back to class again. it is part of a programme organized by Singapore Institute of Directors.

As I reflected on this and many other learning experiences, I believe that if I want to make full use of my life, learning has to become an integral and a significant part of my life.

In the past, I have to go through formal education to learn how to earn a living. Today, I have to constantly educate myself to make my life count.

Learning must become a habit and a part of my lifestyle. Motivation is an important key to unlock learning outcomes.

If I am not motivated to learn, all the best trainers, trainings and training resources will have no impact on my life. However, if I am keen to learn, there are lessons at every given moment of my life.

There are also an infinite number of teachers waiting to teach me – both consciously and unconsciously.

To ensure optimal learning, I need to develop a learning plan.

I need to determine the gaps between my current competencies and what I need to learn. I must proactively initiate ways to bridge the gap.

I must treat my daily life as a classroom to learn and improve. By doing that, I will be in a better position to achieve my goals and dreams.

There are many doors to this 24/7 classroom of life. Please don’t limit yourself to learning in the classroom of life.

Here are some tips that I have picked up as a fellow traveller on this exciting journey.

Learning Environment

I am the result of the people whom I interact with and the environment I live in.

I need to choose my friends carefully, including my friends on the Internet. As they say, if I want to fly with eagles, I should not mix around with turkeys.

I need to also ensure that the environment I am living in is conducive to learning and improvements. I will not, for example, join a club or be involved in an online community that has a negative influence on my life.

Learning Community

To enhance my learning experience, I will proactively join different networks of people who share similar vision, values and lifestyle as me. We have a commitment to inspire and motivate one another to achieve our respective goals and dreams.

To do so, we will share with each other knowledge, expertise and ideas. We will help each other develop the appropriate skillset.

We will also help fine tune each other’s plan and line of actions. And we will watch over each other as we progress in life.

Formal Learning

This is a form of learning that we are familiar with. Typically, it involves interactions between a teacher and a student in a formal educational setting, eg. a classroom.

To date, I always ensure that I keep up to date with seminars and conferences. I will participate in programmes that will help me achieve my desired results.

For example, recently I made it a point to be involved in conferences and exhibitions to learn about Cloud technology.

As I am largely ignorant about the Cloud and I believe it will make one of the greatest impacts on my profession and industry, I need to study more deeply about it. I want to also learn and interact with both experts and users of this technology.

Informal Learning

I have come to realize that there are many useful lessons that can be garnered from daily conversations. They can be conducted on a personal basis or in a group.

That’s why, I make it a point to proactively meet people in ceo networks, gatherings, clubs, workshops and exhibitions.

I will particularly seek out successful people and initiate discussions with them so as to tap on their wealth of knowledge. This can also be done through forums on the Internet.

By asking the right questions and listening carefully, it can open up a new world of learning and improvement for me.

Inspired Learning

In the process of seeking out experts to learn from them, I have discovered that one of the greatest benefits is that they inspire me to conduct a deeper study of their work and the areas of their expertise.

For example, I learned about the principle of leverage – how to do more with less – from students of Buckminister Fuller (Buckie). Later, I was inspired to read many of the books written by Buckie.

I discovered Buckie‘s definition of leverage was actually ‘doing ever more with ever less.’ The difference of one word gave me a new breakthrough in improving my life.

Reflective Learning

It is crucially important that I devote sufficient time to reflect on my daily activities and to learn from them.

To do so, I need to be mindful of how I invest my time during the day.

I review activities and evaluate my performance against the desired results. I need to be honest to determine how I have failed and not just how I have succeeded.

I look for ways to improve my strengths and cover my weaknesses. I also develop action steps to improve the results.

The best time to start learning is now.

The best way to start is to take the first step – sign up for a learning programme that will help you at this point in your life.

As you continue to take more steps, learning will eventually become a habit and a lifestyle. You will be on your way to a successful  life.


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

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

Visit my Inspiration blog at

For my opinions on current affairs, please visit my Transformation blog at

Please visit my website,

Please read my reflections and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!


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