Living For Success Starting From The Home

by Patrick Liew on June 18, 2011

Every quarter of the year, I will do one of the most scariest things in my life.

As a part of My HSR Real Estate Warrior Course, I invite the participants to my home. I will show them how I live, work, play and learn in my house.

First, I have to emphasize I don’t, by any means, live a perfect life. In fact, it’s far from ideal.

That’s why, at the back of my mind, I sometimes wonder whether if they will use the private information against me at a later stage. So, why do I do it?

I do it as a way of showing my gratitude to the people who have so generously shared their personal life with me. Their act of friendship and honestly have enriched my life and help me to be a better person.

They have paid it forward; and I’m hoping to do the same, in the hope that others can learn from their successes as well as failures.

There is another reason for me to open up my home.

I read somewhere that pride can come about when people are uncomfortable with their lives. They become arrogant because they have an unhealthy self esteem.

I hope by being transparent, I can learn to be at peace with myself. In recognising my weaknesses, I will learn to be humble.

There’s a flaw in the logic but it’s a good start.

What do I do during the Open House (Not for Sale but for the purpose of learning)?

Let me share some of the highlights as follows:

Walking For Power

I share with the participants about the Power Walk and practice it with them. (Read about it in Love Note #62).

The rationale of the Power Walk is to make the first appointment with myself and our Creator.

I need to start the day right so as to start moving in the right direction. By doing so, the proceedings of the day can also be better and easier.

Eating For Life

I am very much what I eat.

If I put nutritious food into my body, it will prepare my body for higher achievements. On the other hand, if I consume unhealthy food, I will eventually destroy not only my body but also my chances at success.

To bring home the point, I open my refrigerator and cupboards to show the participants what I eat.

Guess what? I don’t prepare for this part of the session and I do get surprises.

Yes, I have chocolates, ice creams and candies – and I struggle with these temptations.

I have conditioned my mind to eat them sparingly. Better still, I try not to buy them. (If you are my friend, please don’t give them to me as presents or else, I will have to live through the guilt of giving the ‘poison’ away. Ha!)

My answer to the perennial question, ‘Do you eat to live or live to eat?’ is, I need a healthy combination of both.

While I may not live for the purpose of eating, I want to be thankful for, look forward to, and be excited about tasting the finest cuisines in the world. Obviously, I endeavour not to over indulge in it.

I eat my food like I take my medicine.

I aim to eat the right food, at the right time and at the right amount. I say grace and bless the food so that it will strengthen my body, mind and spirit.

How do you eat? If you can tell me what you put in your stomach, I can almost tell you what will become of your life.

Reading For A Full Life

I introduce the participants to my ‘mistress’ – books. I have lots of them on my bookshelves, besides my bed, in the toilet, stacked up in the storeroom, and in many nooks and corners.

I’m glad one of the first proverbs I learned is from Sir Francis Bacon, ‘Reading maketh a full man, by conference a ready man and writing an exact man’.

I believe reading can help me acquire information to help me be a wiser person. Discussing about them prepares me to use the information.

Writing about them helps to fine tune my plan and enhance the clarity in and commitment to implementing it.

I’m eternally grateful to the leaders in a youth organisation who challenged me; when I was 17 years old, to read at least two books per month. Over the years, it has become a healthy and well-ingrained habit.

I endeavour to read widely, deeply and consistently about different areas of importance in my life. I want to do so till the last day of my life.

Reading is pure joy to me.



Having Fun

There are no reasons why I should not have fun in everything I do. I therefore surround myself with many positive and inexpensive fun stuffs to increase my fun quotient.

From my garden, sundeck, Japanese-style dining corner, bed, reading table, sofa, dog, to my exercise tools – I aim to enjoy my life.

To state a common sense which has become not so common – life is definitely for enjoyment too.

I am mindful everything positive can become negative. It is a constant struggle to put in place system and habits to prevent that from happening.

Take television for instance.

I have a television at home and have watched my fair share of programmes, including even toxic ones. I have decided many years ago to stop gluing my eyes on the ‘one-eye monster’ unless they are programmes that can improve my life.

Confession time – I do borrow DVDs from a neighbourhood shop. I don’t do it frequently and I also choose movies that are good for my mental health.

Come rain or shine, I will endeavour to have fun and enjoy my life.

Setting Up A Good Working Corner

As an entrepreneur, it is important that I set up a good home office where I can focus on my work and be productive.

There are people who believe we should never bring work home. It’s hard not to do so in our industry and therefore, I am still learning how to apportion my time and find the right equilibrium.

In any case, was it really Confucius who said, “Enjoy your work and you don’t have to work a single day for the rest of your life”?

I show the participants my working office – a room on the highest floor. The home office does not have to be a room, it can also be a small corner in your house.

I actually spend most of the time working from the dining table and the table in my room (that’s where I’m writing this Love Note).

There should be a reasonable degree of privacy from your family members. Having said that, I have to learn how to spend time with my family members and be able to re-focus back to my work, and vice versa.

I endeavour to ensure the home office is ergonomically designed. In other words, I must be able to work comfortably, effectively and efficiently.

Loving Your Family

If my family members are around, I will introduce them to the participants.

I cannot emphasize enough how important my family is to my life and work. If my family life is not right, I will be hard pressed to do well in my career.

I’m very blessed with a great family. I cannot say and do enough to love and care for them.

Nobody can be born into, grow up in, and be married into a good family forever. They must build for and on it.

If you know of any ways I can improve myself, please let me know.

Success, like charity, begins from home.


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