The Night I “Sacked” My Boss

by Patrick Liew on July 31, 2018

The Night I “Sacked” My Boss

In 1992, I was standing alone at the window of my office.

It was about 10 pm, almost the end of another long day at work.

In the distant, the horizon was dotted with many blinking lights.

They were shining from ships that were docked at the coastal waters of Singapore.

They reminded me of how successful our nation has become as one of the busiest ports in the world.

That night, I also realised how busyness had crowded my life and was gradually squeezing the life out of me.

When the agent first found me the office, she sold me on the beautiful sea view.

Little did both of us know the Government had embarked on a massive reclamation project.

The government did such a great job. Shortly, the sea view became a largely reclaimed land view.

At the rate the reclamation was going, I told my friends all over the world, I would eventually be able to drive to their countries. I’m kidding of course.

The landscape right in front of my window was changing rapidly.

It became what is known today as the Marina Bay – the new Central Business District.

That evening, I felt the pace of change all around me.

Time was somewhat running ahead of me.

It was like the train of life had left the station without me.

I was still standing on the platform with my luggage – not knowing where to go and what to do.

As I stood – all alone – thinking about the fast-changing landscape, my heart was very troubled.

Looking out of the window, what I saw was not just the darkness out there.

I saw the darkness within me and how it was reflected in my future.

In that darkness, however, there was a glint of divine hope.

I had an epiphany – a light bulb, as they said, had just lighted up in my mind.

At that point, I was running the regional operation of a reputable multinational think tank.

I was well-paid, given lots of freedom, and managing many exciting projects.

Despite all that, I had become unhappy.

I realized my job was going nowhere and in fact, it was leading me to a dead end.

I was never going to get what I wanted in my life – True Freedom.

True freedom, to me, included financial freedom, time freedom, lifestyle freedom, and contribution freedom.

Together, they form what I call purposeful freedom.

I would never have all the money that I needed to fulfill worthwhile dreams.

Neither would I have the time to turn the dreams into a reality.

I would never be able to do the things I wanted to do and achieve whatever I wanted to achieve.

I could not enjoy everything I wanted to enjoy in life.

More importantly, I would never have contribution freedom.

I would never have the freedom to provide the best of life to my loved ones.

I could not pay back what I owed to society.

I could not put to right the many wrongs in our world, and leave a positive legacy for future generations.

My job and company would always stand in the way and prevent me from making my dreams come true.

They have become my prison – and it’s more frightening than the prisons with bars and locked doors.

I decided to “sack” my boss.

That was when I decided to embark on my entrepreneurial and investment journey.

During the journey, I went through many ups and downs.

There were also times when I would hit the peak of passion, vitality and fulfillment.

I called this peak experience the entrepreneurial zone.

At those points, I could unleash my greatest potential. I would be able to optimise my performance and achievements.

To replicate the zone, I need to ensure that six forces are in alignment. They also have to act in synergy with one another.

1. Purpose

I believe our Creator has designed every one of us for a special purpose.

We need to pursue and fulfil the high calling and serve a worthy cause.

The question you need to ask myself is:

What is your calling in life?

2. Passion

I believe that anything worth doing is worth doing with passion and excellence.

I need to love what I do and do it to the best of my abilities.

Truth be told, I cannot do everything that I love to do.

However, I can love whatever I am doing.

This is important because in the process of fulfilling my calling,

I will be called upon to do things that I might not love to do.

Still, I can and have to be passionate about doing it. I have to learn how to love every task.

Whatever I choose to do, I want to do it as an act of gratefulness to our Creator.

I want to be thankful for the life that He has given to me.

I want to be able to live every moment as the best moment and as if it is the last moment of my life.

I do not want to waste any moment and will enjoy it to the fullest.

The question you need to ask myself is: How can you be passionate about your calling?

3. Performance

As I have only one life to live and it is not a dress rehearsal, I want to live it to the best of my strengths and abilities.

To do that, I need to capitalise on the unique gifts, talents, and strengths that our Creator has given to me.

I want to leverage on them to excel and to live life to the fullest.

Only by using my strengths can I then achieve the best outcomes and results.

The question you need to ask myself is: How can you achieve peak performance?

4. Priority

Living life to the fullest is about having priorities and fulfilling them.

I need to focus on the important things and not just the urgent things.

When I learn to put first thing first – and major on the majors – I will move forward to fulfill my highest calling.

The question you need to ask myself is: What is the most important thing for you to do right now?

5. Perseverance

There must be a clear focus and wholehearted commitment to my calling.

It will help me to galvanise my energy and resources to complete the task effectively and efficiently.

The question you need to ask yourself is: How can you be singleminded about your calling?

6. Progress

There must be clear and timely feedback so that I can improve myself.

I can then adjust and adapt myself so as to achieve the next level of growth.

Even when I make mistakes and fail, I must be able to pull myself up and persist until I achieve the desired results.

The question you need to ask yourself is: How can you achieve ongoing improvements?

If there is an equilibrium and synergy between these six mutually-reinforcing building blocks, you can achieve the sweet spot, the entrepreneurial and investment zone.

Optimize your productivity so as to achieve targeted outcomes, results and impacts.

Better positioned to turn plans into a reality.

These plans will help you jump out of bed every morning and live out the best life.

You can go to bed every night with hope and optimism for the future.

Here’s the formula again:

Entrepreneurial Zone = Purpose + Passion + Performance + Priority + Perseverance + Progress

Find your sweet spot now.


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

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

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