It’s Time To Win In Life.

by Patrick Liew on August 19, 2019

It’s Time To Win In Life.

On 6 November 2010, at about 6.30pm, I faced the gymnastics mat in front of me.

Beads of sweat were running down my forehead.

I have decided to do what I have always wanted to do in my life.

The only reason why I have not done it before was simply because my life might end before I could complete it.

I have always wanted to do a somersault.

That day, I knew I had to do it.

In my mind, it was a case of “now or never.”

Obviously, I could land on my back and be paralyzed.

Suffer throughout my life and become a burden to my family and society.

Worse, I could end up on my head or having my spine crushed, any of which could kill me instantly.

I was too young to die and there were too many things I have not completed in my life.

I have not even said good bye to my loved ones before I left the house.

Also, that morning, I had forgotten to take Jumper, my “son” out for a walk.

As I stood there in front of the mat, it was like the world had disappeared.

I took a deep breath and ran forward.

Ran as if in slow motion because I was mindful of wanting to do it right.

I could not afford to make even the slightest mistake.

Every detail counted.

Every act was important in the overall scheme of this and other projects.

How you do anything will affect how you do everything.

It was like time stood still for me.

Every person in the gym was frozen, holding their breath as they saw me running forward…

About a year before that fateful evening, I found a gymnastics studio near my office.

It was used predominantly by kids, and many of the older gymnasts who were competitive and seasoned athletes.

Prior to that, I have asked quite a few coaches if I could train with their students.

You could imagine the surprised look on their faces.

In one of the trial lessons, the coach would tell the students, “C’mon, you can do it! Don’t give up! Push it!”

He would then turn to me and said, “Mr Liew, why don’t you take a rest. Take it easy, ok?”

At that point, I was in shape. (Who says round is not a shape?)

I was young at heart – but only old in the other parts.

Shortly after, I gave up the class because I was not getting the right guidance.

What I did not give up was my dream to do a somersault.

In the journey of life, there will always be potholes, puddles and pitfalls.

Don’t let them delay or distract you, or deter you from reaching your destination.

I managed to find another coach, a highly competent one to accept me as a student.

There was no need to use my well-prepared script that I won’t litter the gym with any of my bones.

I was also happy to collect remnants of my skull, spine, and other bones after every class.

As a 200-year-old dinosaur, I looked like the friendly uncle bringing his children and nephews to a gymnastics class.

Some people might even think I was the friendly janitor or vendor selling ice cream, cookies and candies.

Before the start of the class, one young “kiddo” was trying to explain to me v.e.r.y. s.l.o.w.l.y. what gymnastics was all about.

The cute little boy was so worried this old man could not hear and understand him.

So, he spoke loudly and deeply into my ears.

It was okay if only he did not shower me with lots of his saliva and blurted right into my wrinkled ears.

Sweet boy but I just couldn’t think of a perfectly untraceable idea to kill him. Lol!

All around me, fit and strong young hunks looked like they had lived in the gym and had been exercising all their lives.

I looked like a much older hunk who had been living in the kitchen and eating all the time.

While I did feel embarassed, I overcame it by being amused by the experience.

Negativity can only take roots in your mind if you allow it.

When I initially told some of my friends about my new found sports, they responded mostly in shock and horror.

I assured them I intended to live for as long as I was alive and forever, or die in the attempt.

Mostly, they didn’t catch my joke or think it’s funny.

To be fair to all these well-intentioned people, they knew my head was in the right place.

They just didn’t want my body to fall apart.

I would be lying if I told you I was not discouraged.

Believe me, their warnings were amplified in different ways through my heart and mind.

I wanted to give up – not once but many times.

Fortunately, I have learned a long time ago that what people said to you could be useful feedback.

However, they should never stand in the way of progress.

I have always believed, “Growing old is not a problem. Feeling and behaving old is.”

Fortunately, I found a good coach who taught and showed me how to perform every move and technique in gymnastics.

In the journey of life, an effective coach could help craft and fine tune your dreams and goals.

He could help you put a plan together and turn it into a reality.

Keep you inspired and motivated to take the necessary action.

Work with you to overcome obstacles on your way to success.

With a coach motivating and guiding you, , you can run farther and faster in life.

During the initial period of the gymnastic course, it was obviously very tough for me. I couldn’t catch up with the class.

I was being left behind – physically and emotionally.

My muscles and bones would ache quickly and for quite a long period of time.

On many occasions, I walked back to the office feeling like a loser.

Before the next class, my brain would say, “Let’s go!”

My legs would say, “You go first!”

Every part of my being was telling me to give up – to pursue another easier sports.

To make matters worse, I suffered some injuries due to my carelessness and that brought my spirit really down.

I was tempted to postpone my pursuit.

It was alluring to believe in words like, “You can always do it at another time,” or “You can do it tomorrow.”

Stories were being conjured in my mind to blame others for my inaction, justify for my delay, or give excuses for my failure kept playing in my mind.

However, I did everything to keep my dream burning and growing more intensely until it’s bigger than all the negative voices in my mind.

As long as you focus on your short and long term goals, the challenges ahead of you will diminish in importance and in being a burden to you.

The short term goals will become milestones to remind you that you are getting closer to achieving your overall dream.

Goal setting can help you channel all the resources in the right direction.

Compel you to press on and pursue the best of life.

Setting goals and achieving them is definitely a logical and fulfilling approach to dynamic living.

Back to my story, I was totally committed to achieve my goal.

It meant a lot to me to execute a somersault.

Personally, doing a somersault was like a metaphor that could be used to reinforce my belief in the potential and talents that the Creator has given to me.

Performing a somersault stood as both a mental as well as an emotional block for me to achieve seemingly impossible breakthroughs and take myself to the highest possible level of results.

This compelling purpose kept the flame in my heart burning.

With a compelling enough reason, I knew I would find a way to do it.

The “Why”s would lead to the “How”s.

Having a powerful purpose would drive my performance and pursuit.

While there were inner voices that cast fears, uncertainties and doubts, I was mindful I should never entertain them in my mind.

I needed to fight all challenges logically and with all my emotions and might.

I was mindful that I should protect all my senses. I should only allow the positives to enter my being through them.

Therefore, I surrounded myself with different motivators to resist, remove and replace any negative thought or action.

Saturated my inner life with thoughts that could propel me to be a winner.

In life, there are many dreamers but not many are doers. Only a rare few are achievers.

These achievers not only dream but they also did whatever it takes to make their dreams come true.

The key difference between those who merely dream and those who turn their dreams into a reality is essentially just one factor – Execution.

Execution is not the only ability to act on a dream, constant improvement is needed to make the dream come true.

If you have a dream and you don’t take action, you are building castles in the air.

On the other hand, if you take action but you don’t have a dream, you are just running around the same castles.

It is not enough to aspire, you need to take action.

It is also not enough to execute, you must excel in your execution.

The worst failure is a failure to try. When you stop trying, failure becomes permanent.

In my quest to do a somersault, I was mindful that it was not enough to have a positive mental attitude, I needed to take action. Not just any action – but wise and massive action.

With that in mind, I embarked on one of the toughest challenges in my life.

A challenge that went against the norm of adults. One that pushed my body, mind and spirit to the edge.

That evening, as I ran towards the mat, there were many questions running through the minds of the spectators.

“Can he do the somersault?

Will he fail and become paralyzed?

“Will this evening be the last evening of his life?”


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

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

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Life is FUNtastic!


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