It’s Time To Go Back To Basics.

by Patrick Liew on July 31, 2018

It’s Time To Go Back To Basics.

To achieve success, you need to put into practice 15 critical foundational factors.

1. Back To Basics: Have A Compass For Success.

Set a concise, clear, current, and challenging goal.

Goal-setting motivates you to improve your performance and achieve mastery over whatever is needed to achieve success.

Having a goal will act like a magnet to draw you to success. It will spur you to adopt the right knowledge, attitude, skills, and habits (KASH).

Goals will also act like a compass. They guide you on the right direction to the desired destination.

One of the keys to success is to constantly assess your progress in achieving a predetermined goal.

After every course of action, you also need to evaluate the outcomes and their impact on your life and others.

For example, don’t just set a goal for weight loss. Place a weighing machine at your kitchen and office.

Weigh yourself regularly and especially before you go for a meal. You will be more motivated and cautious about eating healthily.

It will do more to help you lose weight than just setting a goal for it.

With constant evaluation and improvement, you will be on the way to achieving your goal.

Question: How can you track your progress and boost your discipline to achieve your goal?

2. Back To Basics: Be A Self-Regulated Leader.

After you have set a goal, you need to be a self-regulated learner and achiever.

In other words, learn how to manage and control your inner life.

For example, practice self-monitoring and self-evaluation.

As you reflect on your performance and seek to improve on it, you are “sharpening your axe” so that you can “chop more trees.”

You are also engaging actively in self-motivation and self-instruction. In case you are not aware, all motivation and learning begin with a personal inertia.

To put this principle into practice, you should make the first appointment every day with yourself and our Creator.

Use the time to evaluate your life and improve on it.

Stretch yourself to set a higher quality and standards of living. Exercise self-control over every area of your life.

Discipline your thoughts, emotions, words, and action to achieve the required results.

These metacognitive skills are pertinent to survival and success in a fast changing world.

Just as importantly, learn to design and if necessary, implement self-imposed contingencies.

In other words, develop the capability, ability, agility, and tenacity to adapt to any situation and make a success out of it.

Explore all ways to learn, improve, and achieve better results, including attending seminars by world-class gurus and effective trainers.

In short, lead the way independent of whatever happen within you and without.

Question: How can you control your words, thoughts, and actions and direct them to help achieve success?

3. Back To Basics: Manage Your Emotions.

To be a self-regulated leader, you need to ask yourself, why do you want to fulfill your dream and be successful?

One of the underlying reasons is because you want to enjoy a set of positive emotions.

These emotions include love, joy, peace, satisfaction, and fulfillment.

Emotion is one of the end results of your pursuit. It is also what predominantly drives your thought process, values, and behaviour.

Therefore, you need to manage your feelings, moods, and other emotions. Do not let your emotions manage and control you.

For example, when you are about to respond with negative emotions such as hatred, anger, or retaliation, force yourself to control your mood.

Reflect and contemplate over the consequences before you unleash your feelings.

Under control, your emotions are powerful tools to help you achieve desired outcomes.

Question: How can you manage your emotions and leverage on them to achieve success?

4. Back To Basics: Stay Optimistic.

Research have shown that self-efficacy, the belief in your ability to learn or accomplish a task at a desired level is a key to being successful.

It also has a major influence on your motivation, well-being, and success.

Your self efficacy is shaped by confidence and competence in performing a task. It is determined by your experience in learning and improving yourself.

In addition, it depends on the influences of people around you. It is also the result of your physiological and emotional state.

There is a positive correlation between self-efficacy and personal achievement.

For example, if you want to be an entrepreneur and if you do not have a reasonable belief that you are able to succeed in it, you will not start a business or have the passion to succeed in it.

In other words, if you are optimistic about yourself and the desired outcomes, you will be in a better position to achieve success.

Question: How can you increase your self-efficacy so as to put yourself in a better position to succeed?

5. Back To Basics: Exercise Responsibility.

If anything negative happens, bear in mind it does not happen all the time and it is temporary.

Don’t take it personally and remember, “This, too, will come to past.”

Never lay blame, justify, and give excuses.

Take responsibility.

Responsibility means taking charge and exercising your ability to respond to any challenge.

You can learn from the challenge, and leverage it to raise yourself to a higher level of accomplishments.

Every time you bounce back from a failure, you strengthen your resilient muscles.

You learn how to be in a better position to persevere through the unpredictable storms and dark clouds in life ( 天有不测风云, 人有旦夕祸福).

Lke an aeroplane going through a temporary turbulence, soon, you will see sunshine and beautiful clouds again. You will land shortly on your beautiful destination.

Question: How can you take full responsibility even if it is not entirely your fault and then, put yourself on track to success?

6. Back To Basics: Take Charge.

To achieve success, you must have a winner’s belief system.

As a winner, you must believe that our Creator has given you whatever you need to manage “the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and all the living things that crawl on the earth” (Genesis 1:28).

You have a tremendous amount of power that is beyond what you can ever think or imagine.

What stands between you and success is essentially just one factor – action.

Make no bones about it. You need to put in determination, effort and perseverance to achieve success.

Every now and then, you will need to renew and strengthen your commitment, grit and resilience.

Success is proportionate to the amount of what I call your “smart sweat.” The smarter you sweat to achieve your goal, the more successful you will become.

Therefore, take charge and make things happen.

Question: How can you tap your maximum potential and live up to your highest calling?

7. Back To Basics: Surround Yourself With Success.

Success is being in the right place and at the right time.

It’s about surrounding yourself with success stories and being at the best place to achieve desired success.

Learn from and model after successful people. Choose the people that you are going to mix around with.

Follow the footsteps of giants and improve on their footsteps, and you’ll end up in the same or even better destination.

Seek wise counsel and ask for help. Look for experts who can help coach and guide you.

Pursue useful sources of information to help you live out your dream life.

Position yourself in the right sociocultural setting, places that can only inspire you and propel you forward to success.

Immerse yourself in the right culture and community so that you will be filled with and will manifest all the goodness of life.

Question: How can you immerse and surround yourself with catalysts of success?

8. Back To Basics: Enjoy Your Journey To Success.

Along the journey to achieve success, find meaning, joy, and purpose in whatever you do.

Be grateful and thankful for all the wonderful things around you.

Show interest in everything that is beautiful and positive.

Be in awe over what our Creator has given to you at every given moment.

Make every one of your tasks creative, interesting, and reasonably challenging. Enjoy it and strive to do well in it.

Learn to operate effectively and efficiently so as to achieve the best outcomes.

When you enjoy the journey to success, it will motivate you to do more and do better in life.

Question: How can you maximise your enjoyment as you pursue success?

9. Back To Basics: Expand Your Capacity

What you get in life depends on what you desire, deserve and do.

Success does not just depend on IQ or EQ but also on DQ.

DQ stands for desperation quotient. How desperate are you to achieve success?

The more desperate you are to achieve your dreams and goals, the faster you will make them come true.

Desire is the fuel that can be used to combust dreams into a reality.

Desire that is well managed can lead to healthy desperation.

Healthy desperation can lead to definiteness of purpose.

Definiteness of purpose can result in unwavering perseverance.

Unwavering perseverance can lead to lasting success.

However, desire alone is not good enough.

You must also be deserving of the success. Know what our Creator wants you to do with your life.

Pay the price to enjoy the sweet and satisfying fruit of success.

For example, learn to cultivate and continue to improve on the right knowledge, attitude, skills and habits (KASH) to achieve success.

Finally, do the things that our Creator wants you to do. That’s the difference between successful people and others – Action.

If you do nothing, you will achieve nothing.

If you keep walking on the same pathway, you will end up in the same destination.

Once you have crafted your plan, strategies, and required activities, take massive action. That’s the crux of success.

Question: How can you expand your capacity for success?

10. Back To Basics: Create Luck.

Luck is directly proportionate to smart sweat. The smarter you sweat, the luckier you will become.

“Practice makes perfect” may not work.

Practicing a failure can only make you a perfected failure.

Run more miles in the right direction.

Run more than what your stakeholders expect of you, longer than your competitors, and further ahead of the market.

When you do that, you’ll find luck raining upon you.

11. Back To Basics: Fight For Every Win.

In Sungei Road where I worked as a kid, we fought for every customer. We fought for every deal and we fought for every cent.

The fighting spirit kept our fire burning.

It drove us to push the envelope and pressed for excellence in every area of the business.

Always remember there are lots of good fight inside you and you have everything it takes to win every fight.

12. Back To Basics: Change The Changes.

Develop fluid intelligence and a highly versatile organisation.

The Sungei Road Market taught us to be data-oriented and to develop divergent and critical thinking.

By being versatile and having more dots in our mind, we could connect them in different ways to achieve desired outcomes.

In the same way, we endeavoured to build qualities of adaptability, tenacity, and agility in our team.

By being flexible, we can change with changing times. We could capitalise on the silver lining in every dark cloud.

13. Back To Basics: Up Your Emotional Intelligence

In the Sungei Road Market, we needed to be not only street smart but also emotionally wise too.

Being emotionally wise begins with knowing your strengths and weaknesses, and especially in understanding and leveraging emotions for good.

In particular, you need to control your impulses and outbursts.

Emotional intelligence can help you enhance your ability, passion and energy. With increased vitality, you can be in a better position to fulfill your dream.

It will also help you understand and influence other people’s emotions. You will be able to relate to and lead others in a better way.

14. Back To Basics: Continue To Improve

Some of the best teachers in the Sungei Road Market were our competitors.

By studying them and even sharing ideas with them, we learned better ways to run our business.

In addition, we also learned from businesses outside of our market. By “copying” them wisely, we took our business to a higher level.

We were never shy to ask for feedback and were also thick skinned enough to ask for support and assistance.

As there were no assurance of three bowls of rice the next day, week or month, we had no issue eating humble pie and risking embarrassment to find a better way to success.

There was always a better model out there that we could learn from and adopt to improve ourselves.

Therefore, set up a personal research and development centre for your life.

As you continue to learn new lessons and develop better actions, record them and improve on them.

Challenge yourself to come out with a better model, value, service and other areas of your life.

If you improve continuously, at some point in the future, you can fly to your dreams.

Think first. Think well. Think fast. And keep thinking…

15. Back To Basics: Live Well And Do Good

Integrity is first and last. Never sell your soul for any price.

Do the right thing. Never do the wrong thing.

To avoid taking the wrong path, ensure that it is so much easier to do the right thing.

Make it very hard to do the wrong thing by establishing a positive culture.

Have competent people watch over you and ensure that you walk the straight and narrow path.

When you live well, achieve more, and do good, you will earn the respect of your friends, colleagues and customers.

They will prefer to work with you and be your friend.

Life will be a purposeful, exciting and fulfilling experience.

I hope the above series of foundational values will take you a higher level of achievement and result.


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

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

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