How I Discovered My Calling…

by Patrick Liew on August 20, 2019

How I Discovered My Calling…

On March 2003, my world collapsed.

That year, on 12 March, I remember the World Health Organisation (WHO) made a public announcement about a severe form of pneumonia.

Three days later, it was identified as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), a deadly disease that was caused by the SARS-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV).

The SARS crisis eventually claimed a total of 774 innocent lives, including 33 fatal cases in Singapore.

In the weeks following the announcement, many people stayed behind closed doors, far from crowds and potentially crowded places.

They carried with them an air of fear – a paranoia that they could be the next victim.

The streets had never been so quiet.

Retail and food and beverage outlets struggled to bring in customers.

Public meetings and all kinds of gatherings were cancelled.

Singapore’s economy took a nosedive.

The property market went through one of the worst downturns and many businesses were severely hit.

My business was virtually destroyed.

To make matters worse, I was carrying liabilities to the tune of millions of dollars.

I went through the darkest hour of my life.

At night, I would cry until there were no more tears.

In exhaustion, I would sleep and curl up like a foetus in a mother’s womb.

When the sun rose, I dragged myself out of bed.

I went to work like a zombie.

Whichever way I turned, it felt like the walls were cruelly crashing down on me.

My life almost came to a painful end.

It was like I had gone through hell and came back from it to share this story with you.

During that period, I received a very interesting call.

“Hello, is that Mr. Patrick Liew?”

“Yes, Patrick speaking.”

“Mr. Liew, my name is Os Hillman. I just flew in from the United States and I would like to meet you.”

“Mr. Hillman, please, just call me Patrick. Welcome to Singapore.

“Can I ask what is this meeting about?”

“Frankly, I don’t really have a reason to meet you.”

“That’s interesting. Can I find out who asked you to see me?”

“I cannot remember who referred you to me and gave your telephone number to me.”

I do not know about you, but if someone called to tell me they had flown in from another country to meet me even though they did not have a clue about the “why,” the “what,” and the “who” about the meeting, I would definitely go to see him or her.

I am by nature – curious, adventurous, and a risk-taker.

I cannot recall where or when we met, but we did. All I remember was that we had the meeting somewhere in a hotel.

Our conversation went something like this.

“Mr. Hillman, this is an interesting meeting. If you don’t have an agenda for the meeting, what should we do now?”

Mr. Hillman looked at me, a little lost, before asking, “Why don’t you start by telling me about your life?”

At that point in time, I had only one painful story to tell. I was not perfect and had made many mistakes in my life.

I had tried to live a good life but somehow, my world was crashing.

Almost everything I had had literally turned into ashes. I was almost left to die.

I must have told the story with lots of anguish, pain and sorrow.

At the end of my sharing, guess what this man did to me?

He laughed right at my face.

I could not believe it.

I could feel my temperature rising and I had to control myself before something bad happened.

Mr. Hillman then told me something that was hard to believe.

He said, “Patrick, many years ago, I had a similar experience, though not exactly the same.”

“My marriage broke down. My business collapsed, and I became bankrupt.”

“Somebody flew in from Sweden and asked me to share my story with him. When I finished, he laughed at me. It’s my turn to laugh at you.”

Mr. Hillman went on to share with me an amazing prophesy.

I forgot about it until a few years later when I finally got out of the “pits of hell.”

“Patrick, you may not understand what you are going through at this point, but one day, when it is over, you will understand.”

“You have a Joseph Calling. You will have to do your part to inspire and serve others.”

The message about The Joseph Calling has been stuck in my mind ever since.

Joseph was an amazing figure in history.

He was sold into slavery by none other than his own brothers.

Joseph was unjustly imprisoned in a strange land. He suffered breaches of natural justice and other forms of ill treatment.

For over a decade, he went through severe hardships and misery.

However, that did not break his relationship with our Creator nor weakened his desire to serve others.

Joseph was subsequently promoted to lead and manage the country, reporting directly to none other than the king.

Through his success, he was able to provide for his family.

He was able to look after his people when his home country went through a long period of famine.

After that fateful meeting, I never met Mr. Hillman again.

He was like a messenger that was somehow sent to deliver a riddle to me before disappearing into a part of my memory.

A few years later, with the help of our Creator, we redesigned our company into a market leader and arguably the first company in the world to rebuild itself on love.

Our company became probably the most awarded company in our industry – and the first single-focus agency to be listed on the Singapore Exchange (SGX).

More importantly, since 2003, our company became one of the most active organisations in social contributions.

Our charity missions helped us to win the Entrepreneur Of The Year For Social Contributions, the Asia Responsible Entrepreneurship Award, and many other awards.

In 2013, I was able to step down as CEO of the company and guided a smooth transition to a new management team.

I have been humbled by my failures and the experiences that I had suffered.

Deep within, I feel honoured and grateful to have responded to The Joseph Calling – to inspire and serve others to eternal success.


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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