It’s Time To Renew Your Life

by Patrick Liew on January 1, 2015

On 19 March 2011, I almost died.

I was driving on a three-lane highway coming back from Kuala Lumpur. It was a hearty drive back after feasting on the renown “Yong Tau Foo” at Jalan Ampang.

I was driving on the fast lane at a speed that was – let’s just say – normal. In other words, fast.

It was dark and drizzling for most part of the journey. A journey that I’ve covered countless number of times but little did I know this time it would be different.

We had just past Ayer Keroh when I saw one car after another ramming into each other. Finally, there was a five cars pile-up a short distance ahead of me.

I quickly jammed on my brakes but the car did not stop. It continued to move forward at an almost heart-stopping pace.

It was almost like watching a frame-by-frame photo finish of a car race except that it was more like a slow motion race to the end of my life.

I had lost control of the car and was watching it skidding towards the silhouette of another car. What happened next was a loud bang that shook me to the core of my bones.

Despite being held by the seat belt, I was thrown forward. I could have been thrown out through the windscreen and it would have been a horrible way to end my life.

My face would have been smashed and scarred and cut, with blood streaming all over. I could see myself lying in the rain, a broken man with unfinished dreams.

No, that did not happened.

The car’s air bag had been activated within a split second and held me back. Still, I ended up with bruises on my hands and face.

Then the bonnet and interior of my car suddenly burst into smoke.

A quick thought flashed across my mind. An explosion could happen and there might not be enough time for me to escape from it. I might end up being scalded by the resulting fire and burnt alive.

I literally jumped out of the car for fear of the worst.

For a long time I stood in the rain watching the traffic moving at a snail pace. The scene was an absolute pandemonium.

Bright vehicle lights were shining all around me. People were screaming confusing instructions.

In the nearby bushes, children were crying loudly. Curious people were staring at us from passing cars and I was staring back at them. Mindlessly.

At that moment, I was shell shocked and my mind was a complete blank. Much later, at the police station, I realised that I had escaped three potential deaths.

First, if I were driving a car like the one in front of me, I would not have an airbag. I could have died on the spot.

Secondly, when I crashed into the car in front of me, an old and beaten-up car, it was running slightly adjacent to the car before it. Therefore, it was forced to swing to the centre lane.

Thankfully, it had not been sandwiched between my car and the one before it, both of which were bigger and stronger cars. Chances are, the passengers might not have survived the crash.

Also, when the car swerved into the centre lane, I was thankful another car had not crashed into it.

If that happened, it was highly possible that the passengers would not have survived it.

What was more scary was about the lady sitting in the front seat. She did not put on a seat belt or perhaps the seat belt was not functioning at all.

To make matters worst, she was carrying a baby in her hands. You can imagine the horror that could have happened.

I could have become a murderer.

Lastly, I was also told by the police that I was lucky another vehicle did not crashed into the back of my car. If it was a heavy duty vehicle, it could have smashed all the cars together and caused them to explode in flame. That was definitely not my idea of blazing the way forward.

I’m grateful and thankful that our Creator had protected me and given me a new lease of life. After staring squarely at death and at such a close range, I have a much deeper appreciation of life.

I felt like I’ve been given a new life and needed to live it differently and much better than I have ever done before.

I also realized that having new beginnings constantly is a necessity to live a meaningful and fulfilling life.

You need to plan to re-start your life and do it again… and again…

It is strange but true that you cannot fully appreciate life if you do not realise that death may just be around the corner.

If you don’t think you will die, you will never transform yourself to live a better life. In the same way, if you don’t think you will fail, you will never want to change.

If you want to live, you need to die to yourself so that you can live for a mission that is much bigger than yourself

A life without dreams and purpose is mere existence. Not having something to look forward to is worst than death.

You live only when you have a sense of purpose and destiny.

To help you discover your purpose and calling in life, let me take you through a series of exercises.

However, to benefit fully from it, you need to take time off to reflect about your life. You need to work diligently through the exercises.

Phase 1: The Modeling Process

Success leaves footprints. If you follow the footsteps of successful people, you will reach the same destination.

That’s why you need to have heroes and mentors. These are people who will challenge you to live beyond yourself and stretch you beyond the normal limit.

They inspire you to emulate and model after them. In doing do, you take yourself to a higher level.

You need to work towards a “new you” and press on with commitment, discipline, and perseverance until you become that better person.

Ask yourself:

Who should be your models and heroes in life and for different areas of your life?

What makes them great?

What are the qualities, lifestyle, and resources that make them great?

How did they develop these qualities? What did they do? What did they have?

What is the priority of their values that you would like to adopt for your life?

How can you live your life so that you can become like them?

What else can you do to become like them?

Phase 2: The Designing Process

While it is important to model after successful people, you will realise that you can never be totally like them. You need to work with our Creator to design the best you.

Ask yourself:

What is the “best me” that you can ever be?

How can you bring out the best in yourself?”

What should you start/stop doing? What should you do more/do less?

What is the priority of actions you need to take to develop yourself and do it in a sustainable way?

Phase 3: The Leveraging Process

Buckminster Fuller, one of the most brilliant men in the last century taught the importance of using leverages to achieve success.

To him, leverage means to do ever more with ever less. The ever-improvement process will eventually lead you to your desired objectives.

To begin with, you can achieve quantum leaps of improvement through internal leverages, including your knowledge, attitude, skills and habits (KASH).

There are also external leverages, including capitalising on ideas, system, technology, human talent, and other resources. You have to acquire or develop these leverages and learn how to use them effectively and efficiently.

Ask yourself:

What leverages can you use to do ever more with ever less?

How can you acquire and develop these leverages to achieve ever-improving results?

How can you use each of these leverages effectively and efficiently?

How can you improve your knowledge, attitude, skills, and habit to achieve quantum leaps of improvement?

How can you work on ideas, system, technology, human talent, and other resources to help take you to a higher level in life?

After you have completed the above exercises, work with our Creator to produce a ‘movie’ of your future life. This is to depict how you can take yourself from where you are until you become
the person you should be.

To prepare for the movie, you need to work through your personal philosophy. You need to know your mission, vision, values, and positioning before you can live a desired lifestyle.

Phase 4: The Mission Process

The first step is to craft a personal mission for my life. I believe every one of us must serve a unique purpose at every season of our life.

It may not be the most perfect purpose but it is the most appropriate purpose for you at that stage in your ife.

In crafting the mission, you need to ask yourself, “Why do I exist at this point in my life? What is the highest purpose for me to serve?”

Your personal mission should then phrased in the form of a question.

I believe the quality of your life depends on the quantity of quality questions you ask yourself throughout your life.

For example, if you regularly ask yourself, “How can I live a great life?” You will be exploring and working regularly on how to achieve greatness.

On the other hand, if you constantly ask yourself, “How come my life is so horrible?” Everything in your life will become darker and gloomier.

Without finding your personal mission, you will not have a compass to point you to the right direction. You will find yourself moving around in the dark, trying to find your way out of the jungle of life.

Other questions you can ask yourself:

Why do you exist?

What does our Creator wants you to do with your life?

At the end of your life, when you reflect about it, what will make you happy and be satisfied about your life?

What do you want people to say about you during your funeral?

If there is a book written about you, what would it say about the key accomplishments in your life?

What would be your legacy to the world?

Assuming you are going to receive an award, what do you want the organizer to say about you, your achievement, and your contribution?

Exercise: You are standing in front of your Creator, what will you tell Him about what you have done in your life?

Phase 5: The Vision Process

After crafting your personal mission, work with our Creator to discover your vision in life.

The Good Book counseled, ‘Without vision, people will die.’

When you have nothing to live for, you will go through a death that is worst than a biological death.

Life will not be worth the living.

I believe our Creator has already given to each one of us a vision. Oftentimes, amidst the noise and haste, we fail to recognize the vision.

During my life transformational bootcamp, every participant is given a huge blank sheet of paper and told to draw their vision in life. They are not allowed to use words but only pictures, signs, and symbols in different colour.

Then, I ask them to further define it using all their senses. In other words, they need to be able to see, hear, smell, taste and feel it in their mind.

When the vision is clear in their mind, it will draw them like a magnet to fulfill it.

Ask yourself:

How should you translate your mission into a vision?

If you meet your friends 20 years from today, how would you tell them about your life?

If you have fulfilled your mission in life, what would you have accomplished?

What specific achievements and contributions have you made?

If you can accomplish anything in life, what would you wish to do?

What can you do so that it will make the greatest impact on yourself and your loved ones, family, workplace, organization, and world?

If there is a best-selling movie about your life, what would it depict about your achievement, contribution, and legacy?

Phase 6: The Values Process

I believe nobody will follow you or work with you if they don’t know what you believe in and stand for. In other words, you need to craft your values and live by them.

I believe you already have a set of values and are living by it consciously or unconsciously.

Unfortunately, as a result of your education and experience, you may have adopted the wrong or less optimal set of values.

Every now and then, you need to re-craft your value system so that it will help you serve the highest purpose for that period of time. In addition, you need to prioritise your list of values so that it can help you live a better life.

Ask yourself:

What are the values that are important to you?

What values do you love to have?

When people talk about you, what will they say about your greatest qualities?

What do you want to be known for?

What values do you hope to impart to your children?

What do you want to see written on your tombstone/obituary?

What values do you need to have so that it will help you to live a happy, meaningful, and fulfilling life?

What values will help to attract great people to you?

What values do you need to fulfill your mission and vision?

If in the book of life where your name is recorded in heaven and there is a column about your values, what will they be?

It may sound strange to you but every time I do this exercise and
reconstruct my value system, I feel like I have redesigned myself and restarted my life all over again.

Phase 7: The Positioning Process

Success is also about finding the right position for yourself in life.

I use the continuous verb, ‘finding’ rather than the present or past participle verb because your current position is the best position for you right now. There is a meaning, lesson, and significance for your being there.

However, you need to be mindful about pursuing a better position in life.

Being fully present while thinking about your future are not necessarily contradictory forces.

Learn to apply the wisdom of F. Scott Fitzgerald. He said, “The test of a first rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”

You need to be contented and to make full use of your life. At the same time, you should be results-oriented and aim for better things in life.

For example, as an entrepreneur, I need to focus on a strategic target market. However, as I strive to be a leader in it, I should not be blinded to other opportunities in the market.

Positioning depends on finding the equilibrium to five dimensions in life.

Purpose: Why should you do in life?

Priority: What is important for you to do?

Passion: What do you love to do?

Performance: What can you do well and do better than others?

Personality: what fits your personality, behavioral style, strengths, gifts, and talents?

You need to continue to ask yourself these questions both on a personal as well as on a professional basis and in doing so, find your place under the sun.

I have left out many personal details in this Love Note.

Suffice to say, you need to be committed to change and continue to change do as to achieve sustainable success.

More importantly, you need to go beyond yourself and your self interests to live for others. Abraham Marslow called this the self-transcendence level or the highest level of human needs.

Will you help me reach that level?


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

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

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Visit my Inspiration blog at

For my opinions on social affairs, please visit my Transformation blog at

Please visit my website,

Please read my reflection and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!


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