Living Moments (Part 42) – Look Before You Leap

by Patrick Liew on July 16, 2012

There was an amusing comic strip in one of my Primary School textbooks. The first panel showed a boy smiling from ear to ear while riding a bicycle.

The second panel featured the same boy, both hands in the air, a speech bubble by his head cheekily proclaiming ‘Look! No hands!”. Alas, the third panel showed the boy swerving off the road and being flung off the bicycle head first.

Finally, the last panel showed his head, peeking out from the drain he had fallen into.There were bruises and scratches all over his face. However, an ear-to-ear smile was frozen on his face. He was shouting, “Look! No teeth!”

The moral of the comic strip was simply – Look before you leap.

A few years ago, I had to relearn this lesson.

One evening, I was rushing back from Johor to attend a meeting. It was dinner time and I was hungry.

I calculated that I could spare thirty minutes to catch a meal. So I stopped by a restaurant at Greenwood Avenue, Hillcrest Park.

It was one of those meals that necessitated a brief skimming of the menu and rapid decision-making. The special promotion that evening was a special breed of Wagyu beef.

The price displayed in large bold font was $50. What I did not study carefully was the fine print.

$50 for a steak was a princely sum of money. However, I thought to myself, ‘Even if it is a quick meal, there is no reason why I should not enjoy a good steak. In any case, I deserve to treat myself for working hard.’

I placed the order and instructed the waiter to “Serve the steak quickly. I’m in a great hurry.”

You could imagine how upset I was when he came out of the kitchen shortly with a small slab of raw beef on a cooking plate. He showed it to me and asked for my approval to prepare the meal.

At that moment, I was  busy replying SMSes. I took a quick look at the beef, wondering why in the world would he show it to me and delay my meal.

I nodded my head and waved him off. I made sure he could tell from my body language that I was losing my patience and needed to have my meal – fast.

The Chef took forever to prepare the steak  – at least that’s how I felt at the time. When it finally arrived, I looked at my watch and knew I had only enough time to literally gobble up the food.

Subsequently, when the bill arrived, I had the shock of my life. That steak that I almost had to swallow costs $350.

The steak was priced at $50 per gram. I failed to notice the last two words.

It was one of the most expensive steaks that I have ever eaten. And I ate it in less than ten minutes.

Thankfully, the lesson learnt has paid for that steak many times over. I hope that you have also learned from my foolish mistake.

Look before you leap.

The risks of not looking can far outweigh the benefits of taking the leap. The effort to correct a wrong step can be horrendous. It makes so much more sense to look before leaping.

In other words, count the cost before you embark on any project. Make sure you have what it takes to complete it and to complete it well, taking into consideration all potential risks and liabilities.

I’m sure you have heard of Murphy’s Law which states that ‘If anything can go wrong, it will go wrong.’ I choose to believe that anything that can go wrong should not go wrong because you have preempted it. You proactively took action to resolve it.

The best way to overcome a challenge is to prevent it. If you can identify the roadblocks to success and prevent it from happening, you will be speeding along the highway to the finishing line.

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

Visit my Transformation blog at

Please read them and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!


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